UFC boss Dana White and his business partners have unveiled their latest venture – the Power Slap League.
The UFC president has made his promotion the most iconic MMA brand in the world, with the sale of the business in 2016 leaving it worth an estimated $500 million.
And he’s now thrown some of his money into the new league, tentatively titled Power Slap, with UFC CBO Hunter Campbell as the primary owner, along with former UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta and others. .
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The Nevada State Athletic Commission has unanimously approved the proposal that slap fights be classified as bare-knuckle fights, meaning they fall under the commission’s oversight.
Slap fighting is a sport where two fighters slap each other with an open hand, but the UFC is looking to put its own spin on it by adding new rules. The new venture will seek to include a scoring system using the 10 point system which is adopted in both boxing and MMA. It will also avoid unfair weight discrepancies and rules governing which areas of the face may be affected.
“We spent the last year kind of testing this in a controlled environment to really test and kind of see the dynamics of how it would work as a real league and a real sport,” Campbell said.
“What we’ve found is that it’s actually a sport of skill, that the participants who are at a high level in that area are skilled athletes. They train. They are in good shape. They take it seriously, which is no different than what you see with MMA and boxing.”
Until now, the sport has been played in much less restrictive environments in the United States and abroad. Campbell said the safety of the athletes involved is a priority.
“With any type of fight when you take shots to the head, doing it in a way where there are no medical procedures and regulations is a dangerous environment,” Campbell said.
“The second issue is the integrity of the sport. The other thing we’ve seen is you’ve seen cases where a guy can be 400 pounds (181 kg), and he slaps a guy who’s 130 pounds (58 kg), and that’s not what we’re trying to do either.
“With NSAC’s approval regulations, athletes will be subjected to a full battery of pre-fight medical tests, with events also featuring active medical personnel on site.”
It is understood that the first event will likely take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, possibly before the end of the year. The UFC said it is already in talks with a major network and currently has an agreement with ESPN to broadcast UFC events.
Jeff Mullen, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said the sport needs to be watched.
“I think this sport needs to be regulated, and if we don’t regulate it, it’s going to be happening all over the city without any kind of regulation, without any kind of safety standard,” Mullen said.
“By regulating that, we can make sure that there are doctors there, ambulances there, that the fighters have physical exams, that they have eye exams, that they have MRIs and MRAs, and if we don’t regulate it, we’re going to have people competing on a bar stool, and it’s going to be a dangerous situation. I think for the health and safety of our constituents, I think we have to do it.
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