When it comes to watching and betting on sport, nothing compares to football. But over in the US, the NFL and NBA take the majority of the betting activity. But over the last few years, the UFC has taken a seat at the top table. It now has a new compatriot in Power Slap. But will it ever become as popular with punters?
At its core, Power Slap is an emergent sport where contenders trade open-handed blows, trying to outlast their opponent.
Participants like Chris Thomas highlight the intensity and sheer physicality of the sport, where one robust slap can send an adversary crashing to the ground. These combatants take pride in their ability to deliver and absorb these powerful strikes, standing firmly without any defense.
Power Slap’s Backing by UFC
This budding sport’s prominence is not just a result of its raw appeal. It has garnered attention, primarily due to the support of UFC and its president, Dana White. With their backing, Power Slap aims to transition slap fighting from niche amusement to mainstream sport, similar to how UFC revolutionized mixed martial arts.
Building on the raw intensity and novel allure of Power Slap, another avenue of interest emerges that mirrors the trajectory of UFC’s rise to global stardom – betting. Just as the UFC saw a meteoric surge in brand recognition and fan engagement through UFC betting, there’s a burgeoning belief that betting on Power Slap harbors enormous potential. The act of placing bets, rooted deeply in the passion and allegiance of the fans, has often proven to amplify viewer immersion and investment in a sport.
Concerns Surrounding Power Slap
Despite its visceral appeal and rising popularity, Power Slap is not without controversy. The sport’s inherent violence, where participants are essentially defenseless against incoming blows, has raised alarm bells. Events surrounding violent sports, such as Damar Hamlin’s near-death experience on the football field, have magnified concerns over the potential for severe injury in Power Slap.
Furthering the debate is the growing body of evidence on the long-term damages associated with concussions and brain injuries in sports. Neuroscientist Chris Nowinski argues that the sport lacks the drama and artistry of other combat sports and simply pushes the boundaries of human endurance, leading to possible lasting damage.
Defending Power Slap’s Integrity
In response to criticism, Power Slap’s proponents argue for its legitimacy. The structure of Power Slap matches is designed to provide fair and intense competition without unnecessary risk.
Combatants undergo thorough medical checks, including physical exams and MRIs, to ensure their health and readiness. These matches, which consist of three to five rounds, have distinct rules, such as targeting only the cheek and ensuring that slaps are open-handed.
Protective measures, such as having individuals ready to catch a falling participant, further ensure safety. Power Slap president, Frank Lamicella, emphasizes that over 50 matches have been conducted without a significant injury. But there is still many questions raised on the sport.
The Cultural Impact of Power Slap
Power Slap has undeniably made its mark in popular culture. The sport’s clips on platforms like TikTok garner millions of views. Chris Thomas, a participant, emphasizes the sport’s captivating essence, arguing that it offers physical confrontation and showcases the fighters’ real-life stories.
MMA and Boxers Weigh In
However, not everyone from the fighting community is on board. Several MMA fighters and boxers have expressed concerns, comparing the number of blows in a typical boxing match to those in Power Slap. They argue that the sport does not contribute positively to combat sports.
The Future of Power Slap
While there is enthusiasm from participants like Chris Thomas, who sees the sport as transformative, critics suggest that the risk outweighs the entertainment value. Whether Power Slap can navigate these challenges and establish itself alongside institutions like UFC remains to be seen.