The Newest Combat Sport: The Power Slap League

Jake Hawkins, Staff Writer

There have been many violent sports over the years, but one has recently taken the world by storm. The newly licensed athletic sport, The Power Slap League, has increased in popularity since its initial legalization in Nevada. 

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) managed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)  president Dana White and former CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has been trying to make the sport more expansive. White started promoting the sport by showing a commercial during UFC 280. Adversaries of the sport have mainly been criticizing it by calling it a “dumb” sport.

“In terms of the participants’ health, slap fighting is awful and I could only imagine how many concussions happen at each fight. These repeated head injuries could cause some very serious long-term effects to the fighters. Brain damage would be inevitable to a majority of the fighters,” Miami Palmetto Senior High Sophomore and Sports Medicine Officer Ollie Presnall said.

The game is judged by individuals who watch slapping between the two competitors. Each competitor must wear a mouth guard and ear protection. There are three rounds, and each competitor is able to hit the other once a round. Before the slapping commences, competitors must rub their hands with talcum powder. After the three rounds, the judges make their decision on who handled the slaps the best and select a winner. It took a year to develop proper rules for the sport based on those of Mixed Martial Arts.

The sport originally sparked conversation during quarantine when it gained popularity in Europe. On Mar. 5 Logan Paul and Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up to put together a slap-fighting championship in Columbus, Ohio featuring Dawid “Zales” Zalewski (who at the time was 16-0). Zalewski faced Koa “Da Crazy Hawaiian ” Viernes (who at the time was 9-0). The league plans to separate contestants by weight class like most martial arts competitions. There is no start date, but it is rumored to take place somewhere between November and December

White announced health and safety would be the number one priority if the sport did get approved. He described how there are necessary protective gear requirements that will ensure competitors’ safety. There are still many doubts about the sport, but White has an idea that he hopes will soon be shown to the world and become an iconic sport.