Having achieved immeasurable success in bringing the sport of mixed martial arts to the mainstream through the UFC’s growth and development, White is looking to break into a new and unique area of combat.
Earlier this week, White announced the creation of a new organization — Dana White’s Power Slap League. It was also confirmed that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has approved the promotion and agreed to regulate the sport.
The NSAC’s decision, as well as White’s push to bring the controversial sport to further prominence, quickly came under scrutiny.
Many, including renowned reporter Ariel Helwani, branded the UFC chief and the commission ‘hypocritical’ for preaching about the improvement of fighter safety, only to create and regulate a league that’s designed solely for damage and no defense.
Slap fighting initially began to hit screens in Russia and Europe, with knockout clips quickly going viral. Its notoriety grew earlier this year when YouTuber and occasional celebrity boxer Logan Paul teamed up with Arnold Schwarzenegger to host the Slap Fighting Championship.
White now looks set to continue the sport’s growth, much to the dismay of many pundits in the combat sports community. The UFC president, however, has disregarded their takes as nothing but nonsense.
During a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s José Youngs, White was asked for further details about how the NSAC will regulate the new league, which is expected to debut before the end of the year on a major network.
Having noted that procedures will closely mirror MMA, White went on the offensive, taking aim at media members who have spoken out against his latest combat sports venture.
After comparing the number of strikes that boxers take to head during matches to how many slaps individuals will receive in his league, White insisted that the commission’s decision to regulate the sport was correct.
“It’ll be regulated exactly like this sport is,” White said. “I saw a lot of the goofballs out there talking sh*t — ‘goofballs’ being media guys — talking about, ‘What’s next, mallets?’ And stupid sh*t like that. The bottom line is, if you watch a boxing match, guys get hit with three to four hundred punches in a fight. These guys are gonna get hit with three slaps.
“For these morons to be talking all this sh*t that they are about the athletic commission and stuff — the athletic commission did the right thing, and so did we,” White added.
White also dismissed the suggestion that the sport won’t gain popularity and will have a fairly short longevity.
After claiming that many will be looking to get involved, similar to the rapid growth of MMA a number of years ago, the UFC chief insisted that regulation and commission oversight is crucial ahead of that surge.
“We run towards regulation. We want to regulate the sport and make sure it’s safe for everybody, ’cause a lot of people are gonna get involved in this, just like they did with MMA,” White stated. “What you want is you want to make sure there’s clear-cut, set rules, (and) that people have to take the proper medicals before, during, and after the fight to keep the thing safe.
“It should be regulated and Nevada did the right thing, and I applaud them. That’s why they’re still the most respected athletic commission in the world,” White concluded.
For now, it’s safe to say that many are skeptical about not only the sport’s place in mainstream combat, but the lack of protection on offer to those competing, especially given that slap fighting, by design, includes no defense.
But White appears more than confident in his and the commission’s ability to create a watchable and entertaining league, whilst also protecting the welfare of the athletes eating the open-palmed shots.
What do you make of Dana White’s response to the slap fighting criticism?
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