We now four weeks into the existence of the lowest form of combat ‘sports’ entertainment. Dana White’s Power Slap league has had a dismal showing in the ratings, with one notable ratings surge in its second week before failing to crack the top 60 shows in its timeslot.
The failure of slap fighting comes despite the UFC leveraging a significant amount of its promotional capacity to give Power Slap a boost. Overall, reactions to the clips circulation online are largely negative. It’s not often that the MMA fanbase heartens me, but seeing a near universal rejection of slap fighting is one of those instances.
Erik Magraken of Combat Sports Law has been tracking of the T/KOs recorded during Power Slap bouts and, thus far, the results are both disturbing and also in line with what one would expect from a contest specifically designed to produce brutal KOs meant to go viral on social media.
As a fan of various forms of combat sports and violent entertainment throughout my life, slap fighting is a deeply unsettling experience. The ruleset prohibits any form of defence, which reduces the contest to a test of who is more resilient to blunt force head trauma. A contestant can lose a coin-flip and get rendered unconscious without any chance to participate — I fail to see how this qualifies as a sport worthy of the sanction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
In addition to being nothing but a demolition derby of head trauma, the pay looks to be abysmal. Ex-UFC fighter Eric Spicely stated he was approached by Power Slap, with the first fight paying $2,000 to show and $2,000 to win.
There are a lot of problems with that, for starters: Spicely was cut from the UFC in 2021 after accumulating three consecutive T/KO losses that year. Approaching a fighter on that kind of losing skid is concerning enough, but offering such a small amount of money to risk further brain injury is exceptionally callous. Lastly, the fact Power Slap is using the UFC’s asinine show / win model for pay is disgusting, given slap fighters can lose without a single opportunity to act.
The exploitative nature of Power Slap makes what is already an unpleasant proposition completely intolerable. I look forward to the cancelation and shuttering of this grotesque spectacle and I am glad that the general public — along with a majority of combat sports fans — have shunned this atrocity.