Slap fighting safety subject of Nevada Athletic Commission meeting

An empty Octagon is seen at UFC on ABC 3, Saturday, July 16, 2022, in Elmont, NY. (AP...
An empty Octagon is seen at UFC on ABC 3, Saturday, July 16, 2022, in Elmont, NY. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)(Gregory Payan | AP)
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 10:14 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Athletic Commission is scheduled Wednesday to discuss potential rules changes for slap fighting competitions, including those backed by the UFC, the top mixed martials arts promotion in the United States.

The commission in October unanimously approved sanctioning slap fighting, in which competitors take turns forcefully slapping each other in the face. The commission, which regulates boxing and other combat sports in the state, asserted the approval was given to prevent unregulated matches and so competitors had safety precautions in place.

In November, the commission approved UFC President Dana White’s license to promote the Power Slap League. UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell assured the commission that safety was the highest priority.

White promoted the TBS show “Power Slap: Road to the Title” in an interview with Front Office Sports last week. The first four episodes averaged 275,000 viewers.

However, many competitors exhibited apparent concussion-like symptoms, raising safety concerns about the competition.

White acknowledged in the interview with Front Office Sports that a video of him and his wife slapping each other in a scuffle on New Year’s Eve at a Mexican nightclub didn’t help in his efforts to promote the new sport. He called the timing “ironic and horrible at the same time.”

White also has publicly apologized for slapping his wife.

The commission also will discuss approving upcoming Power Slap events March 9 and 11 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.