- Concussion Legacy Foundation CEO Chris Nowinski slammed slap fighting as the brutal sport makes inroads in the US.
- Footage of a slap event went viral this week when one competitor’s face appeared disfigured.
- A new slap fighting venture, backed by UFC boss Dana White, airs for the first time Wednesday.
Neuroscientist and concussion expert Chris Nowinski slammed slap fighting, just as the brutal sport makes inroads in the United States.
An event held on Monday attracted the attention of the internet as one participant’s face looked disfigured after absorbing a few strikes.
Footage from the show, which took place in Romania, made for uncomfortable viewing, as Sorin Comsa had chalk and blood over the left side of his face.
His cheek was swollen; his lip sagged on the left side; and his face seemed unrecognizable from how he normally appeared.
Nowinski, a former pro wrestler with WWE and co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, commented on the clip.
“I believe adults can choose to do dangerous jobs if they understand the risks and reasonable efforts are made to protect them,” the 44-year-old tweeted.
“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.”
—Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) January 17, 2023
Nowinski’s criticism comes on the eve of a big American slap event
Reality TV show Power Slap, a brainchild of UFC boss Dana White, makes its debut Wednesday on TBS.
The pre-recorded program follows various slap fighters as they hope to leave an impression on executives and fans, vying for prominent rankings, before live event title shots later in the year.
Insider understands that live events are expected to take place as soon as March, and will be held at the UFC’s TV studio, Apex, in Las Vegas.
Power Slap is not without controversy.
The show was originally due to air January 11; however, the premiere was delayed a week because White had media commitments that were ultimately canceled in the aftermath of a now-infamous New Year’s Eve altercation between White and his wife, Anne White, who were seen on video slapping each other at a nightclub in Mexico.
“There’s no defense for this,” White told reporters last Wednesday at a press conference in Las Vegas.
“All the criticism that I have received this week and in the future is 100% warranted.”
‘You don’t ever bounce back from this’
Insider reminded White about a comment he made back in 2014 in response to seeing video of former NFL running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée — “You don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman,” he said then — and asked how he might bounce back from this.
“You don’t,” White told us. “You don’t ever bounce back from this. For the rest of my life, however long that is, people are going to label me that. I did it.”
—Al Dawson (@AlanDawsonSport) January 11, 2023
White said it’s something he “has to deal with and live with” forever.