May 28, 2024

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‘So what, who will survive the knife-stab?’: ‘Power Slap’ the new ‘combat sport’ is increasingly popular, but also increasingly controversial |  More sports

‘So what, who will survive the knife-stab?’: ‘Power Slap’ the new ‘combat sport’ is increasingly popular, but also increasingly controversial | More sports

Dana White (president of the UFC’s largest mixed martial arts competition) is serious about Power Slap, the new “fighting sport” where two lockers try each other’s clothes with hands to cheek. Thanks to viral clips on social media, the sport is growing and on Wednesday Las Vegas hosted “Power Slap 2,” a pay-per-view event much like an MMA or boxing match. But experts ask questions.

Viernes (left) vs. Hutchinson, with promoter Dana White in the middle. © instagramda_hawaiian_hitman

The guard on Wednesday had the first ever 800-pound (362-kilogram) clash between “Heavy Killer” Dane da Hawaii “Furness” and Adam “Smack vs. Cash” Hutchinson. While the latter jammed a chocolate bar between his teeth, he appeared on stage for the weigh-in at Apex , where White also hosts his UFC events in Las Vegas. Both fighters together weighed 374 kilograms, dry on the hook. Both survived the first attempt, but on the second blow, the American Hutchinson irrevocably hit the canvas after a real blow with a sledgehammer .

Hutchinson on the ground.
Hutchinson on the ground. © Electric Slap

The origin of the “sport” is in Eastern Europe, where three years ago the Russian heavyweight Vasily Khamutsky was a sensation. In a video, you can see how “The Dumpling,” as is his nickname, beats “Goth” Pete Davidson to win €500. In other videos, he smashed a watermelon or threw tractor tires in the air.


A slap fight video on TikTok averages 10 million views. To put it in perspective: for MMA it is 1.5 million, for the UFC 700,000 and for the NFL 545,000. This is a sport for modern sports fans.

Promoters Dana White

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But in October 2021, things went wrong for the first time during Punchdown, when Polish ‘slapfighter’ and bodybuilder Artur ‘Waluś Walczak (46) suffered severe brain damage after a fourth strike during an event in Wroclaw. In the hospital he ended up in a coma, only to die after a month of organ failure. An investigation into the security conditions was launched, but to no avail. Punchdown has changed its name and is now called Slap Fighting Championship.

Arthur Walchuck.
Arthur Walchuck. © rv

Experts ask questions. For example, there is the well-known American neurologist Chris Nowinski, who graduated from Harvard University and later became a wrestler. He criticized the sport by posting a video from Power Slap 2 in which contestant, Chris Kennedy, appears after coming off the so-called fencing or fencing response that indicates a traumatic brain injury. Then the victim’s forearms move to an unnatural position for several seconds after the blow. elongated or curved, usually in the air.


Nowinski, co-founder and president of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, tweeted: “This is sad. Notice the screen response indicating initial brain damage. This guy can never be the same again. After that, who can survive a knife stab?”

“Because no defense is allowed, you’re going to get a lot of concussions and even total unconsciousness,” journalist Trent Rainsmith wrote on the UFC news website Bloody Elbow. “That’s what you get when you let a 13-year-old invent a new sport,” adds fellow journalist Ben Foulkes. CBS martial arts analyst Luke Thomas says on Twitter, “So shameful. No protection whatsoever. No barriers whatsoever. Then you might as well start kicking each other in the private parts.”

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But Dana White stands up for his strong teeth and nails and says a lot of money goes into providing participants with the necessary medical care during and after camp. “Together with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), I came up with clearly defined rules, classifications, weight classes, and medical exams. But people still have to understand this, just as they did with MMA. See, in boxing, fighters take in some Sometimes 300 to 400 strikes per fight. Slap fighting is just a few hits… You know, if you don’t like it, don’t look at it.”

Dana White.
Dana White. © Reuters

But look, there. White to critics who think slapping fighting should go away quickly: “This sport is here to stay. I don’t know if you’ve seen this yet, but a slap fight video on TikTok averages 10 million views. To put that in perspective: For MMA It’s 1.5 million, for the UFC 700,000 and the NFL 545,000. This is a sport for modern sports fans. This will go all the way. Slap power has it all Next stage Togo.”

What are the rules for slap fighting?

The concept is simple. Two opponents facing each other. The toss of the coin determines who starts. In turn, the participants slap each other using the flat of their hand on the cheek. You have thirty seconds to land that blow. After that there is half a minute of recovery, after which the opponent can strike. That’s how things go back and forth. Victory is determined by knockout, technical knockout, or points. The attacker must strike with the palm of his hand, and the defender must not block or flinch from the blow.

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The matches will air on pay-TV TBS (part of Warner Bros. Discovery) in 2023. It’s an eight-part series, after which the Power Slap rating is set for the first time. The goal is to gradually conquer the whole world. Or how Power Slap should become as popular as MMA.

Who is Dana White?

Dana White has risen to become the strongest man in the world of mixed martial arts. Since 2001, he’s been the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the premier mixed martial arts league that he’s grown into a billion-dollar business. It is partly thanks to White that MMA players like Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov have become world stars. White’s fortune is estimated at $ 500 million (about 475 million euros).

Dana White and Conor McGregor.
Dana White and Conor McGregor. © AFP

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