Former NSAC Chairman Admits He ‘Made a Mistake’ in Sanctioning Dana White’s Power Slap League

The former Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck regrets sanctioning the controversial slap fighting sport

Power Slap
Courtesy of @powerslapleague on Twitter

Dana White’s Power Slap League has been the subject of much debate since its inception and television debut. 

Slap fighting is nothing new, but the controversial sport earned a significant amount of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were stuck at home scrolling through their phones amid a global shutdown. Seeing the staggering numbers online, Dana White immediately went to work in an attempt to turn combat sports’ bastard stepchild into a legitimate competition.

The first step in the process was getting sanctioned by a state athletic commission. It’s no surprise that Dana White went to the NSAC. The UFC has turned Las Vegas into the fight capital of the world and the promotion practically has the Nevada State Athletic Commission wrapped around its finger. White scored sanctioning for his Power Slap concept with minimal effort, but then-NSAC chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck admitted that it was all a mistake in a recent report from AP News. 

“I made a mistake,” Cloobeck said. “I’m not happy about it.”

Recognizing the danger of the alleged sport, the NSAC issued an amendment to the rules in an effort to better define what is considered a legal slap with the goal of minimizing serious and long-term injuries. 

“The No. 1 thing is the health and safety of the fighter,” commission Chairman Anthony Marnell III said at a Feb 15 meeting. “Always has been, always will be.”

Like It or Not, Power Slap Has Found Its Audience

Professional fighters and MMA fans, with the exception of Anthony Smith, have called for Power Slap to be shut down given the dangerous effects it can have on its competitors. Of course, Dana White has called bullsh*t on those claims repeatedly, even suggesting that Power Slap is safer than boxing despite the complete lack of defense involved. 

Power Slap: Road to the Title will wrap up its first season with an eighth and final episode this week before a live finale airs on March 11. Originally expected to air on pay-per-view, a general lack of interest in the sport forced the UFC president to move his pet project to Rumble, a little-known streaming platform that primarily associates itself with conservative conspiracy theorists. 

Despite the widespread condemnation of the platform, it does appear that Power Slap has found its audience online. Whether or not it remains on TBS or any other major network remains to be seen, but the sad fact is that slap-fighting does appear to be here to stay, one way or another. 

“It seems like there is a market for this, whether you like it or not,” Marnell III concluded.

Transcription courtesy of AP News

Published on March 9, 2023 at 3:54 pm
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