UFC President Dana White announced this week the launch of Power Slap, “a sanctioned and regulated combat sport focused on competitive open-handed striking”. The organization was formed by Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Craig Piligian, in partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship and Endeavor.  

“I’m very excited for the launch of Power Slap. I’ve been working on this since 2017. I saw  some footage of slap fighting on social media and I was instantly hooked. From the first day I saw it, I felt like  this could be big. I knew what needed to be done to make it a real sport just like we did with MMA. We got it  sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) with defined rules, rankings and weight classes. Power Slap is built for the modern sports fan.”  

-Dana White

These slap fighting organizations have been around for awhile. I always found it mind boggling why anyone would want to stand there and take an open-handed palm strike to the face. They can’t defend. They just have to take it. Can you take an open-handed palm strike to the face? Can you take more punishment than your opponent? I actually find it very stupid for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the long term brain trauma the competitors may face from engaging in slap fighting.

Dr. Brian Sutterer, M.D., who is a combat sports fan and has over half a million subscribers on Youtube, shared his thoughts on Power Slap and why he thinks it’s the dumbest “sport” ever:

Power Slap is set to launch with an eight episode series that will air on TBS in early 2023 where athletes will compete to earn a spot in the cast house, the first Power Slap rankings, in future Power Slap matches and world recognition.

Longtime followers of the UFC will at once notice the formula White is using for Power Slap strongly resembles how they marketed The Ultimate Fighter reality series on Spike TV in the early days. Viewers got to know the fighters who were competing and learn more about their journey to the Octagon. And it worked. The show was hugely successful.

And I’m not saying there isn’t an audience for Power Slap and it will probably make White and company plenty of money. But at what cost? I find it interesting that White, Fertitta, and the UFC, with all the controversy surrounding CTE already, would want to support slap fighting. It’s also interesting that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has given their stamp of approval — but not surprising.