The UFC has big plans to launch its own slap fighting league.
According to MMA Junkie, Dana White's team made a presentation to the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) outlining their desire to enter the slap space.
And, by all accounts, their pitch went pretty damn well.
Now the NAC looks set to welcome the exciting sport into its jurisdiction – and the UFC will be the first to jump onboard.
UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell lead the pitch which has since been approved by the NAC who have agreed to regulate and oversee it all.
So yes, if things all go to plan, that means we could see slap fighting become a legitimate combat sport with mega-money broadcast rights, much-loved megastars, die-hard fans and sold-out stadiums.
Or imagine the cross-over between slap-fighting and mixed martial arts? Conor McGregor loading up a huge left palm to spank Henry Cejudo over the chops.
“We’ve spent the last year sort of beta-testing this in a controlled environment to really test and see the dynamic of how this would function as an actual league and real sport,” Hunter Campbell said.
If boxing is to hit and not be hit, slap fighting is kinda the opposite where getting hit is specifically arranged and done without impediment. Nevada’s commission is pretty shameless. https://t.co/cj25q58RhV— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) October 18, 2022
MMA: A sport where the fight ends if you are not intelligently defending yourself.— Simon Head (@simonhead) October 18, 2022
Slap Fighting: A sport where the rules insist that you refrain from intelligently defending yourself. https://t.co/1sFvSq8ZQr
“What we’ve found is that this is actually a skill sport that the participants, who are at a high level in this, are skilled athletes in. They train. They’re in good shape. They take it seriously, not dissimilar with what you see in MMA and boxing.”
As is the case with MMA, fighter safety is paramount.
So it'll come as no surprise to hear that the angle Campbell took was around the need for regulation in the relatively-new sport.
“Again, our approach was similar to the UFC: Move toward regulation before this is an actual thing” Campbell said.
“With any sort of combat when you’re taking shots to the head, to have it done in a way where there isn’t medical procedures and regulations put around it is an unsafe environment. The second issue is integrity of the sport. The other thing that we’ve seen is, you’ve seen instances where a guy might be 400 pounds, and he’s slapping a guy who’s 130 pounds. That’s also not what we’re looking to do.”
He added: “Really the appeal today is to say we believe the athletic commission has the jurisdiction to regulate the sport. Our concern is they choose not to do it. As this grows, you’re going to see, I call it, ‘the sports bar slap contest,’ where you have two 56 year-old guys dropped at a bar, and they’re going to be slapping each other for $200 in prize money. Ultimately nothing will be done to prevent that. That’s sort of the appeal to the commission.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/YouTube/Slap Fighting Championship
Topics: Australia, MMA, UFC, Dana White