The ref cam is one of those things that pops up every so often in combat sports. Perhaps shockingly, ESPN has never used a ref cam on Friday Night Fights – until this week, of course.
On Friday night, referees Steve Willis and Pete Santiago will break new ground for ESPN, wearing cameras mounted in lapel pins to get an up close view of the action during the fights.
While the ref cam itself isn’t really that groundbreaking anymore, I’m shocked that ESPN has never used one during Friday Night Fights, which has been around since 1998. Technology has progressed so much over these 16 years, and I assume that the length of time needed to debut the ref cam was because ESPN wanted to make sure they were going with the right technology instead of something that could potentially impede the referee’s duties during the fights.
The UFC experimented with a ref cam during some of their Fox events, but it hasn’t been seen in awhile. Maybe it’ll start to pop up again.