If you thought that Ultimate Fighting Championships President Dana White was content with just running the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization, think again. White wants to capitalize on a new combat sports phenomenon, slap fighting, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has agreed to grant him a license to make it an official athletic competition.
Enter “Dana White’s Power Slap League,” a new venture on the right side of a vote Tuesday by the NSAC in Las Vegas. The details of the league were delivered by current UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell, who is also part of the promotion’s ownership group. Campbell presented the tenets of the organization at the monthly commissioner’s meeting.
Slap Fighting will now be regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Dana White's Power Slap League is targeting its first event in November or December at the UFC Apex. Broadcast details not revealed, but they are targeting a "major network."
— John Morgan (@JohnMorgan_MMA) October 18, 2022
The Power Slap League will contain a set of rules similar to the ones approved for MMA, with weight classes, matchmaking, and medical requirements mimicking MMA’s.
“After testing it, it became clear to us that there’s massive potential here as a sport, not unlike the early years of the UFC,” Campbell said to ESPN. “It made all the sense in the world to go toward regulation before the sport’s commencing, for all the obvious reasons. No. 1, the health and safety of the competitors.”
Slap fighting clips have made the rounds on social media over the last few years and have been presented as a sideshow combat oddity. The events were never treated as a regulated sport even though they feature two competitors across from one another hurling open-handed blows across each other’s faces.
In the past, slap fighting competitions were reminiscent of the early UFC days, with opponents of grossly different weight classes doing battle in many rounds. However, now the game will undergo the same transformation as the UFC when White and his original partners, the Fertitta brothers, purchased the UFC and changed it from its early labeling of “human cockfighting” by the late Arizona Sen. John McCain.
— Kyle Brandt’s Basement (@KBBasement) October 19, 2022
The new rules will have permitted slap areas, mouthguards, and earplugs. In addition, the sport will be judged on a 10-point must system utilized in traditional combat sports like boxing and MMA. The organization is planning to host an event in late 2022, most likely at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
A Slap Fighting Championship competition occurred at the Arnold Classic bodybuilding conference and tournament in Columbus, Ohio, in March. Logan Paul served as a commentator, with former Mr. Olympia champion, action star and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attending, raising the sport’s profile and bringing more legitimacy.
White took to social media touting his interest in slap fighting in a video where he proclaimed to be putting together “the biggest slap competition of all time.”
White has formed the new sports promotional company with the usual suspects: His former initial investor in the UFC, Station Casino owner Lorenzo Fertitta, longtime producer of The Ultimate Fighter reality show Craig Piligian, and UFC chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein are reportedly listed on the company’s articles of incorporation in the state of Nevada.
With the success of the UFC globally, Dana White is looking for another outlet to help people beat each other up, and now he hopes slap fighting will be the wave of the future.