Esteemed journalist Ariel Helwani has had some choice words for Dana White’s Power Slap league this week, describing the sport as “total trash.”
In an interview with Boxing Social, Helwani laid into the Nevada State Athletic Commission for sanctioning the events, in which competitors exchange free, undefended blows to the head.
There have already been numerous blood curdling knockouts in the shows to date, leading to widespread criticism.
“I think it’s total trash, I think it’s garbage. This has nothing to do with my feelings towards the UFC or anything like that, though I find it very disappointing that they would use their platform to develop something like this.”
“The ones who have skirted by, in my opinion, is the Nevada State Athletic Commission. How could an athletic commission sanction something like this? We’re supposed to believe you care about the health and safety and you’re above the dollars and cents.”
“You can’t do bare knuckle fighting in Nevada but you can do slap league? With what we know about brain trauma and CTE? It’s disgusting.”
The condemnation comes at a bad time for UFC boss White, who was embroiled in a PR storm earlier this month after footage emerged of him slapping his wife at a New Year’s Eve party.
Coupled with the loss of former UFC heavyweight champion and the recently announced partnership between Jake Paul and rival MMA organisation the PFL, 2023 looks set to be a make or break year for White.
Long standing criticisms surrounding fighter pay and healthcare resurfaced after the departure of Ngannou, who is believed to have left the company to pursue more lucrative fight purses elsewhere – perhaps with the UK’s Anthony Joshua.