Dana White Gets Slap Fighting Approved as Actual Nevada Sport
It’s not just for the Three Stooges anymore. Slap fighting is now an actual licensed thing in Nevada. The latest combat sports venture from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was approved as a sport by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) at its most recent public meeting. UFC will reportedly launch Dana White’s Power Slap League with inaugural matches before the year’s end.
Slap fighting is exactly what it sounds like, by the way. Two combatants, standing within arm’s reach of each other, take turns striking their opponents in the face with an open hand. The event is won when one slapper either gives up or loses consciousness. (Spotters back each slapper in case the latter happens.)
The commission’s vote came after a pitch from UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell, who is part of an investment group that owns the league along with White, onetime UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, UFC ownership group Endeavor, and TV producer Craig Piligian.
“We’ve spent the last year sort of beta testing this in a controlled environment to really test and see the dynamic of how this would function as an actual league and real sport,” Campbell said, according to mmajunkie.usatoday.com, which broke the story. “What we’ve found is that this is actually a skill sport that the participants, who are at a high level in this, are skilled athletes in. They train. They’re in good shape. They take it seriously, not dissimilar with what you see in MMA and boxing.”
The group plans to begin holding Dana White’s Power Slap League events at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas starting Nov. 11, 2022. Initial events will be held behind closed doors, but Campbell said plans are to eventually open them up to the paying public.
How UFC Convinced Nevada
No slapping was required to convince the NAC. Campbell simply argued for a need for the state to regulate a sport that’s growing in popularity yet occurs primarily in warehouses with limited fighter safety and matchmaking integrity. He stated that, under UFC control, slap flighting would be based on a rule set similar to MMA fighting – including no striking to the back of the head or eye-gouging. Additionally, it wo have similar medical requirements, weight classes and matchmaking.
The entire process reportedly took 13 minutes, including Campbell’s pitch. In fact, NAC chairman Stephen Cloobeck called video he watched of the slap fighting beta-testing “highly entertaining,” and praised the involvement of “professionals who know what they’re doing.”
Campbell told the NAC a deal is being finalized with “a major network partner” to broadcast events.
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