Former UFC referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy is not a fan of Dana White’s newest combat sports endeavor, Power Slap.
On Wednesday night, the UFC president’s take on the growing trend of slap fighting hit the airwaves just days after a video clip went viral featuring a fighter who had suffered a horrifying disfigurement during a tournament in Romania. Discussing the incident and the concept of slap fighting in general, McCarthy shared his disgust over the Nevada State Athletic Commission agreeing to regulate what he believes is nothing more than “sanctioned brain trauma.”
“I’m all for competition and I’m all for any kind of competition there is for the most part,” McCarthy said on the Weighing In podcast. “I really find it hard to believe, especially with a place like Nevada, that they are regulating sanctioned brain trauma. That’s what it is. There’s no defense of any type.”
“What are these guys getting paid? They ain’t getting paid sh*t. Not enough for f*cking brain damage and there’s no defense. There’s no way of stopping that. It’s all about how hard does your opponent hit you. If he can hit really hard, it’s gonna happen. It’s crazy to watch.”
Horrific! Man left with a disfigured face after partaking in the RXF MMA Slap Fighting championship, Romanian heavyweight Simion Sorin Comșa wins it anyway 🤯
— Kickboxing Romania (@kickboxing_ro) January 17, 2023
Initially Intrigued by the Concept, Josh Thomson Agrees With John McCarthy and His Assessment of Slap Fighting
Like many, John McCarthy’s co-host Josh Thomson was initially intrigued by the idea of slap fighting, but as the unnecessarily dangerous side of the so-called sport was unmasked in video clips over the past few months, the former Bellator and UFC star has changed his tune.
“I’m gonna be extremely honest,” Thomson said. “I was kind of like, ‘Okay, this should be fun’ probably I’d say two to three months ago. ‘This should be fun. It’s kinda cool to watch,’ but now as I’m watching. There’s more videos of it popping up I’m like, ‘This is the dumbest f*cking thing people could do.”
With Power Slap making its debut this week, it remains to be seen if the concept will find mainstream success, but mixed martial arts fans and fighters appear to be largely against the concept as sports continue to put a larger focus on protecting athletes from concussions and long-term brain damage, or CTE.
“I can’t support it,” Thomson continued. “I can’t support it at all. I was kind of like encouraged a couple months back and as now more videos are popping up, I’m not liking it.”