Power Slap League President Hits Back At “Not A Sport” Critics

Power Slap League President Frank Lamicella has hit back at criticism of his organization one week into its launch on TBS.

Power Slap is in its second week of competition after debuting on TBS last week. Slap fights took place at the UFC Apex, featuring wild knockouts and plenty of action.

While slap fighting is arguably an entertaining enterprise, it’s not without its fair share of detractors. Some have concerns about fighters in the league suffering serious injuries, including possible brain damage and concussions.

Despite these concerns, the Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctioned Dana White‘s Power Slap League without issue. The league could also potentially hold future events in other markets.

Power Slap has been met with mixed reviews so far because fighters don’t have the opportunity to actively defend themselves against their opponent. Because of this, many have opined that the league is not sport but barbarism.

Power Slap President: “There Are Elements Of Defense”

Power Slap

During a recent interview with MMA Underground, Lamicella addressed the brutality of professional slap fighting and defended its status as a sport.

“I think that ‘is this a sport?’ conversation online goes on with everything, right?” Lamicella told The UG. “Is bowling a sport? Is pool a sport? Is this a sport? At the end of the day, you have two athletes competing, right? You talk to them, they absolutely feel like it’s a sport. They absolutely feel like they’re training and working hard…

“On the ‘no defense’ [criticism], there’s no evasive defense. If your definition of defense is only evasion, then that’s obviously got some element of truth to it. However, again, talking to these guys, there’s definitely defense,” Lamicella said. “There is training the head, neck, shoulder muscles, and our sports science, sports data that we put out will start to support that.

“Learning how tense to make the muscles, how tense to clench the jaw, all of that matters. Learning to roll with the slap but not committing a flinching foul. So, it’s really a lot of timing. When do you close your eyes? Do you leave your eyes open the whole time? There are elements (of defense).”

Lamicella: Everyone Is Happy With Their Pay

Lamicella went on to address critics of Power Slap fighter pay after former UFC fighter Eric Spicely alleged he received a low offer to compete.

“I don’t think comparing it to UFC today is the right comparison,” Lamicella said. “We’re starting from the ground up here. Having said that, I think all of them feel like they’re more than fairly compensated. For the live event, we’ll probably be throwing some of those bonuses out there like we’ve done in the past or we’ll at least consider it. Let’s see what happens on that front. But, everyone [who] is getting up there, they’re happy when they leave.”

Despite some of the controversy surrounding Power Slap, prominent figures such as Conor McGregor have given their endorsement for the league. Former UFC fighters, including Pearl Gonzalez, have expressed interest in joining the league.

Calls for Power Slap’s cancelation were made by some after White’s physical altercation with his wife on New Year’s Eve. Despite some calling to step aside as UFC president, he hasn’t faced any formal punishment for his actions.

Power Slap’s long-term success is still uncertain, but Lamicella seems to hear the concerns of some viewers as the league continues its debut season.

All quotes via MiddleEasy

Related Articles