Vegas’ Newest Regulated Sport: What is Slap Fighting?

Ever wanted to slap someone — and get paid for it? Learn more about the world of regulated slap fighting.


After a slightly controversial journey, the Nevada State Athletic Commission agreed to the creation of a brand-new professional sports competition: Power Slap, a professional slap-fighting league.

While you’ve probably seen a number of viral videos of these types of events, now the powers that be are going to try and make this more of an official, proper, and regulated sport; available to bet on at online sportsbooks. One of the first moves to make that happen was to partner with another fight league that’s gone through a similar journey, the UFC.

As more and more comes out about this league in the coming months, you’ll likely hear more about how the events will take place, who will compete, and even what betting on it might look like. For now, let’s take a look at what Slap Fighting actually is, what the different leagues available are, and what the UFC can do to make this something special.

What Is Slap Fighting?

When you think about slap-fighting, you can probably guess what this sport might entail. It’s a matchup of two professionals who stand in front of each other and take turns unleashing open-handed slaps directly to the face, with the first fighter to get knocked or bow out declared as the loser.

We’ve seen slap-fighting explode on social media over the years with people like YouTube celebrity Logan Paul attending and MCing events. However, it felt more underground, and never became an official league until now.

It really started to skyrocket in popularity a few years ago when both Paul and Arnold Schwarzenegger got together to make a Slap Fighting Championship. That event had three judges scoring a fight, and lasted for a total of three rounds before a winner was determined if the competitor couldn’t continue after 30 seconds. If one competitor knocks out the other, it would be an immediate stop to the fight.

Now that the league is official, there are going to be more restrictions as to who can compete. The UFC’s Hunter Campbell made it clear that there are going to be weight classes and different rules to make sure that the battles are even. For example, in the past, we’ve seen huge mismatches with 400-pound fighters taking on someone who is 150 pounds. Now, fighters will be evenly matched to help level out the playing field with the competition becoming more regulated.

What Are the Different Types of Leagues?

man holds face after being slapped by woman

Do you watch slap fighting? 

There are a handful of slap-fighting leagues currently competing for the top spot, but no one league has emerged and reeled in the mass market share, as they are all still battling for athletes, promotion, and notoriety.

Power Slap is going to be the UFCs new league and getting the UFC to co-sign is huge. The President of the UFC, Dana White, was talking about how the league is going to be featuring competitors from all over the planet as Power Slap is set to be an official, regulated, and sanctioned combat sport. In fact, people can watch the Power Slap league when it airs on an eight-episode series in early 2023.

The league is currently set up where the competitors duel it out to get a spot in their cast house. The league anticipates using rankings with their slap fighters which will ultimately help them earn more recognition. The UFC knows how to promote this and they can leverage their audience to make it happen. Who knows, we could even see a big UFC event with a slap fight on the undercard in the near future.

Outside of Power Slap, there were a few other championships and tournaments that have taken place over the years. One of the most recent examples was the Slap Fighting Championship, which used to go by the name PunchDown and then became known as the Chin Check Slap Down. There have been a few other random events that pop up in parts of Europe too.

The Power Slap league is set to be a massive game changer for the future of the sport, and the UFC is prepared to make this one of their primary projects down the line thanks to Dana White.

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What Will Dana White Bring to the Sport?

Dana White is prepared to bring both safety and entertainment to the slap-fighting world when the league officially airs. Campbell has spoken about how the UFC has plans on creating medical requirements before joining the league to try and limit any serious injuries that might happen to these players, and he also mentioned how the weight classes will be implemented to create a more even playing field, as previously mentioned.

There were also talks about matchmaking by the MMA and required mouthguards for competitors to wear to avoid further injury. It’s also worth noting how fired up Dana White is to bring this sport to the major leagues.

At the end of the day, the UFC will approach Power Slap in the same way that it did with the MMA. Originally, mixed martial arts were labeled as “disorganized” and “too brutal” to be properly promoted. Now, it’s a streamlined organization that delivers entertainment in a safe and sustainable way to millions of viewers worldwide.

Many have questioned what the risks might be for making slap fighting a professional sport, as the most severe criticisms are the injury concerns. White made the analogy that in a boxing match, fighters can take 300-400 shots to the head, and nobody complains, whereas, with slap fighting, competitors won’t be subject to nearly as many hits.

Dana White also spoke about how they plan to follow every single rule and regulation that is set before them by the committee. He noted that they want to make it safe for everybody involved and that he anticipates a lot of people wanting to join very rapidly like how the MMA exploded onto the scene a decade ago.

White highlighted how the biggest thing is to establish clear rules for the fighters, have the correct medical precautions in place for each competition, and make sure that the regulations alter and update when needed.

How It Got Regulated

The Nevada State Athletic Commission was tasked with looking through the potential risks of Slap Fighting before coming to a decision on whether or not it should be “legal”. The largest question was technically under the umbrella of unarmed combat.

The definition of unarmed combat by the state’s laws was looked at and the commission unanimously agreed that it is in fact unarmed. They then had to run multiple test events in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2022 to try and determine how this sport might go if turned professional.

The commission and the UFC now feel confident in the product that they are getting prepared to put out into the world, the rules and regulations were set during these test events and all sides seem like they are in the best spot.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience writing online casino reviews and game guides. His betting strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004.

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