Power Slap
Company typePrivate
IndustrySlap fighting promotion
Founded2022
FounderDana White
Headquarters,
Nevada, U.S.
Area served
United States
Worldwide
OwnerDana White
ParentSchiaffo LLC
Websitepowerslap.com
Power Slap
Also known asPower Slap: Road to the Title
GenreCombat sport
Reality
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes10
Production
Executive producerDana White
Production companies
Original release
NetworkTBS
(season 1)
Rumble
(season 1 – outside the U.S; season 2 onward – worldwide)
ReleaseJanuary 18, 2023 (2023-01-18) –
present (present)

Power Slap is an American slap fighting promotion company owned by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) chief executive officer Dana White.

Power Slap first gained notoriety by producing a reality television show titled Power Slap: Road to the Title, originally broadcast by the TBS network in the United States and on Rumble internationally.[1] Contestants on the show slapped each other in the face to win the "Power Slap League" tournament. The show's first season consisted of 8 pre-recorded episodes and was followed by the Power Slap 1 live event that aired exclusively on Rumble.[2]

The show was executive produced by Power Slap's owner Dana White.[3] The show was due to premiere on January 11, 2023, but was delayed a week after White was filmed slapping his wife in a Mexican nightclub at a New Year's Eve party.[2]

The show, considered the premier program of the slap fighting combat sport, had significantly lower ratings than its professional wrestling lead-in programming, AEW Dynamite, consistently drawing around 250,000 viewers compared to Dynamite's near million viewers.[4] On March 13, 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery and TBS representatives confirmed to media sources that the network would no longer air Power Slap: Road to the Title following its first-season finale, which had aired the week prior, partly due to its low ratings.[5][6][7][8] After Road to the Title's cancellation by TBS, White confirmed that Power Slap would continue to hold events and produce content for Rumble. During the Power Slap 5 live event, it was announced that the second season of Road to the Title was set to air on Rumble. The second season began airing on November 15, 2023.

Rules

Power Slap, which has been licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, uses rules similar to those established by other slap fighting leagues. After a coin toss to decide who goes first, the first striker has a time limit of 60 seconds to deliver an open-handed slap to the opponent. Slaps must be below the eye but above the chin, without leading with the palm such that all hand to face contact takes place at the same time. Those being slapped may not flinch, raise their shoulder or tuck in their chins. After being slapped, the slapped competitor then has 60 seconds to recover and get back into position before it's their turn to slap. Fights which don't end in a knock out and go three rounds go to the judges' decision, using a 10-point system with judging based on slap strikers' effectiveness as well as the slap receivers' reaction and recovery time.[9]

Fighters are separated into different weight and gender divisions similar to other combat sports.[9][10]

Criticism and health risks

Upon initial airing, Power Slap: Road to the Title created controversy[9] concerning the health of the participants and the inherent danger of the new sport.[11] Neuroscientist, chronic traumatic encephalopathy researcher, and former professional wrestler Christopher Nowinski observed one of the show's participants displaying the fencing response after being struck, indicating serious brain injury.[2] Greek neurologist Nikolas Evangelou called the show a "recipe for disaster" due to how "impact to the head, from an angle, can cause rotational forces on the brain", leading to "hopefully temporary, but sometimes permanent disruption to brain function" and "even more serious complications".[9] Many combat sports athletes also responded negatively to the show. Boxer and WBC champion Ryan Garcia wrote "Power slap is a horrible idea and it needs to be stopped."[12] UFC fighter Sean O'Malley stated that he refused to watch Power Slap: Road to the Title due to its association with brain injuries.[13]

In response to the criticisms, show producers said, "We spend the money to make sure we have two healthy people in there, proper medical attention during and after the fight. These are the things we need to educate people on, just like we needed to educate people on mixed martial arts."[9] In an interview before the show aired, Dana White said "In Slap, they take three-to-five slaps per event. Fighters in boxing take 300–400 punches per fight. And guess what: you know what my answer to that [criticism of slap fighting] is? If you don't fucking like it, don't watch it! Nobody's asking you to watch this. Oh, you're disgusted by it? Watch The Voice."[14]

On February 16, 2023, Bill Pascrell, a Congressman from New Jersey, and Don Bacon, a Congressman from Nebraska, announced that they were launching a Congressional inquiry into the ethicality of Power Slap.[15] That same month, one of the world's leading experts on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Dr. Bennet Omalu called for slap fighting shows to be removed from television. Omalu stated, in response to White's claims that he was making slap fighting as safe as possible, "It is a very dumb [sport], very stupid and unsafe. It is primitive. To me, such a sport is inconsistent with the intelligence of humans. It is possible that a participant could die from this. Somebody could die or suffer catastrophic brain damage and become a vegetable. How can he [Dana White] make that statement? It is like saying you will make a loaded gun safe [...] Why is TBS showing such a primitive sport? It should not be on TV."[16]

List of events

# Event Date Venue Location
1 Power Slap 1: Darius the Destroyer vs. Wolverine March 11, 2023 UFC Apex United States Enterprise, Nevada, United States
2 Power Slap 2: Wolverine vs. The Bell May 24, 2023 UFC Apex United States Enterprise, Nevada, United States
3 Power Slap 3: Hintz vs. Wolverine July 7, 2023 UFC Apex United States Enterprise, Nevada, United States
4 Power Slap 4: Hintz vs. Turpin August 9, 2023 UFC Apex United States Enterprise, Nevada, United States
5 Power Slap 5: Da Crazy Hawaiian vs. Vakameilalo October 25, 2023 UFC Apex United States Enterprise, Nevada, United States
6 Power Slap 6: KO Chris vs. Muniz February 9, 2024 Durango Casino United States Spring Valley, Nevada, United States

Current champions

Division Upper weight limit Current champion Since Defenses
Super heavyweight 266+ lb (120+ kg) Koa Viernes[18] October 25, 2023 0
Heavyweight 265 lb (120 kg) Damien Dibbell[18] May 24, 2023 1
Light heavyweight 205 lb (93 kg) Ron Bata[18] July 7, 2023 1
Middleweight 185 lb (84 kg) John Davis[18] March 11, 2023 2
Welterweight 170 lb (77 kg) Christapher Thomas[18] March 11, 2023 0

Championship history

Super Heavyweight Championship

Weight limit: 266+lb
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Koa "Da Crazy Hawaiian" Viernes
def. Kalani "Toko" Vakameilalo
Power Slap 5
Enterprise, Nevada
October 25, 2023 88 days
(incumbent)

Heavyweight Championship

Weight limit: 265lb
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Ron "Wolverine" Bata
def. Darius "The Destroyer" Mata-Varona
Power Slap 1
Enterprise, Nevada
March 11, 2023 74 days
2 United States Damien "The Bell" Dibbell Power Slap 2
Enterprise, Nevada
May 24, 2023 242 days
(incumbent)
1. def. Nate "The Buffalo Soldier" Burnard at Power Slap 5 on Oct 25, 2023

Light Heavyweight Championship

Weight limit: 205lb
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Ayjay "Static" Hintz
def. Vernon "The Mechanic" Cathey
Power Slap 1
Enterprise, Nevada
March 11, 2023 118 days 1. def. Russel "Kainoa" Rivero at Power Slap 2 on May 24, 2023
2 United States Ron "Wolverine" Bata Power Slap 3
Enterprise, Nevada
July 7, 2023 198 days
(incumbent)
1. def. Austin "Turp Daddy Slim" Turpin at Power Slap 5 on Oct 25, 2023

Middleweight Championship

Weight limit: 185lb
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States John "The Machine" Davis
def. Azael "El Perro" Rodriguez
Power Slap 1
Enterprise, Nevada
March 11, 2023 316 days
(incumbent)
1. def. Wesley "All the Smoke" Drain at Power Slap 2 on May 24, 2023
2. def. Azael "El Perro" Rodriguez at Power Slap 5 on Oct 25, 2023

Welterweight Championship

Weight limit: 170lb
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Christapher “KO Chris” Thomas
def. Jesus Gaspar Diaz
Power Slap 1
Enterprise, Nevada
March 11, 2023 316 days
(incumbent)

References

  1. ^ "Rumble Announces Partnership With Power Slap". Globe Newswire (Press release). December 15, 2022. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Samano, Simon (January 19, 2023), "Dana White and TBS should be ashamed' of Power Slap, says neuroscientist Chris Nowinski", Yahoo! Sports
  3. ^ Holland, Jesse (January 17, 2023), "Dana White laughs at fans 'disgusted' over Slap Fight injuries — 'Watch The Voice'", mmamania.com
  4. ^ Reinsmith, Trent (February 17, 2023), "Power Slap retain their record low ratings in Week 5", bloodyelbow.com.
  5. ^ "Dana White's Power Slap will not return to TBS for Season 2". www.mmafighting.com. March 13, 2023. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  6. ^ "'Power Slap' series and TBS part ways as program set to move to online platform". Yahoo Sports. March 13, 2023. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  7. ^ "TBS confirms Power Slap League will not return for season 2 on the platform". March 14, 2023.
  8. ^ "Report: Dana White's Power Slap canned by TBS". March 14, 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d e Saqib, Faiza (January 21, 2023). "'A recipe for disaster': The Power Slap League – and why neurologists are so concerned". sky.com.
  10. ^ "Dana White Explains the Rules of Power Slap". Power Slap. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  11. ^ Davies, Ben (January 19, 2023), "Slap-fighter left with memory loss after brutal KO as Dana White's league launches", mirror.co.uk
  12. ^ "Dana White's Power Slap denounced as dangerous: It's a ticking time bomb for brains". MARCA. February 4, 2023. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  13. ^ Davies, Ben (February 2, 2023). "UFC star explains why he refuses to watch Dana White's new slap-fighting league". mirror. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  14. ^ @jedigoodman (January 17, 2023). "Jed Goodman on Twitter, tweet with video interview clip" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Calhoun, Curtis (February 17, 2023). "U.S. Congress Inquires About 'Mindless Violence' In Power Slap League". MMA News. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  16. ^ Cunningham, John (February 10, 2023). "CTE Expert Speaks Out On Dana White's Power Slap". MMA News. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  17. ^ BKFC (December 9, 2023). "Power Slap - Events". Power Slap.
  18. ^ a b c d e Power Slap (May 11, 2023). "Power Slap Rankings". powerslap.com.