Concussion expert Chris Nowinski has ripped into the UFC’s new Power Slap league.
Dana White’s new show, which aired today (January 19), saw 30 athletes compete in what has been described as the ‘biggest slap competition of all time’.
And it certainly hasn’t been shy of controversy.
Former WWE superstar Chris Nowinski turned neuroscientist and concussion expert has long been an advocate for better education on head injuries and their long-term impacts.
He says the sport is an opportunity for athletes to be exploited.
He co-found the Concussion Legacy Foundation after suffering concussions himself throughout his career in the WWE, and has extensively researched American Football related injuries.
A recent clip of the RFX Slap Fighting Championships in Romania went viral of one competitor copping a brutal knock while already suffering a severely swollen face.
Nowinski shared the clip and wrote: “I believe adults can choose to do dangerous jobs if they understand the risks & reasonable efforts are made to protect them.
“But head hits with no defence is just sad. It reminds us that people who don't take the risks often exploit those who do.”
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) January 17, 2023
I believe adults can choose to do dangerous jobs if they understand the risks & reasonable efforts are made to protect them.
But head hits with no defense is just sad. It reminds us that people who don't take the risks often exploit those who do. pic.twitter.com/nC8xNWKimF
The video he shared showed Power Slap contestant Comsa Sorin standing his ground for so long that he became disfigured by the end of the competition.
Making it all the way to the final, Sorin did eventually get his hands on the belt, but had to endure a half-hour of hell as his face was struck time and time again by his opponent and he was visibly in serious pain.
For 20 long, agonising minutes he was struck repeatedly on the side of his face as it continued to swell and become even more disfigured, but he endured the pain and eventually defeated his opponent.
The clip went viral just prior to the UFC’s own league being launched.
The MMA promotion announced the launch in October, with Dana White making the presentation to the Nevada Athletic Commission, outlining their desire to enter the slap space.
The NAC was on board and the UFC launched their league.
The show runs similarly to The Ultimate Fighter in which contestants live in a house together and the winner is determined by Power Slap rankings.
The UFC’s desire to get into the slap space has garnered a barrage of criticism.
Fox Sports reported that MMA fighter Josh Barnett said: “This type of event (I won’t doing to call it a sport) is the dumbest thing there is going. X-Arm seems like the Olympics in comparison. Why do people support this s**t?”
While podcast host Tony Marinaro called for the controversial sport to be banned.
He said, as per the outlet: “Enough already. This has to stop. Ban slap fighting.”
However, during an episode of Slap! Shorts, the UFC President hit back at critics while noting that production had taken all the necessary steps to ensure the championship was safe.
“We spend the money to make sure that we have two healthy people in there,” he said.
“We have proper medical attention during, and after the fight. There are all the things we needed to educate people on. Just like we had to educate people in mixed-martial arts.”
White continued: “But, in [Power] Slap, they take three like it, don’t watch it. Nobody is asking you to watch this. Oh, you’re disgusted by it? Watch The Voice.”
Featured Image Credit: UFC/Twitter. RXF.
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