Dana White was at a press conference on Friday in New York City to introduce Power Slap promotion.
The promotion’s will debut in 2023, and the UFC president also revealed a broadcast partnership with TBS for an eight-episode television series.
The length of each episode is one hour. After the series is over, rankings will start, and winners will be announced.
White said during the news conference,
“I’m really into this. I like it. The other thing is, this stuff is going on. I know when we announced this, there were a lot of concerns about health and safety with some guys. Us getting involved guarantees that it’s going to be much safer.”
White claims to have looked into this in the past and was particularly intrigued by the statistics.
“Look at the numbers this stuff pulls. It’s perfect for social media. You couldn’t have a more perfect product for social media. We believe it will be strong on television, too.”
Similarly to MMA, Power Slap will include weight divisions. The press conference unveiled the whole regulation.
The rules are:
Three or five rounds.
The competitors will trade slaps or “strikes”.
Unless one combatant is ruled unfit to continue before the round is up, each fighter will get an equal number of “strikes.”
Which contestant goes first is decided by a coin flip.
Fouls include flinching, blocking, and prolonging the game.
Before the slap, each combatant will say which hand they’ll use.
Each athlete will state their “count,” or the number of windups they will do before their strike (similar to how a golfer measures the distance to the ball on a shot).
Although Dana White has repeatedly stated that Power Slap would be safe, many have voiced their disapproval.
“A lot of these questions that you guys have, the media, fans, potential fans have, will be answered in this eight-part series that we’re doing. These guys who have been doing it for a long time, there actually is technique to it. You can actually roll with the slap. They know how to actually defend, brace, whatever you want to call it. There’s actually technique to this thing – believe it or not.”
At UFC 280 media day, White fired back at the media who criticized his slap competition. The 53-year-old believes slapping is not that dangerous, especially when compared to boxing and MMA.
“The bottom line is, in a boxing match, guys get hit with 300-400 punches in a f****** fight. These guys are going to get hit with three slaps. For these morons to be talking all the s*** that they are about the athletic commission, the athletic commission did the right thing. So did we. ”
“We run right toward regulation, regulate the sport to make sure it’s safe for everybody — because a lot of people are going to get involved in this just like they did MMA. What you want is you want to make sure there’s clear cut set rules, people have to take the proper medicals before, during, and after the fight to keep the thing safe. It should be regulated and Nevada did the right thing. I applaud them and that’s why they’re the most respected athletic commission in the world.” White said.
However, the UFC head honcho might be wrong. Just like boxing and MMA, slap fighting had a death victim too. Polish strongman and slap-fighting competitor Artur Walczak died following a brutal knockout in slap fighting.
Walczak was one of the participants at the PunchDown 5 gala. After taking a powerful slap, the 46-year-old fell to the ground unconscious and was sent to the hospital.
Artur spent a month in a hospital after being knocked-out in the finals of Punchdown. People were blaming the organization for his death because they called 911 instead of using the ambulance that was on-place. The EMT arrived 1 hour after the call.
He was put into a medical coma for over a month and later a friend of his confirmed that he has passed away. The doctors tried to wake him up from the coma several times but were unsuccessful.
Wrocław prosecutor’s office announced that it would check whether the organization of such competitions is legal in Poland at all. Nothing came of the criminal charges.
The cause of death was multi-organ failure resulting from irreversible damage to the central nervous system – said Monika Kowalska, spokeswoman for the University Teaching Hospital in Wrocław.
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