Watching Power Slap President Frank Lamicella defend his new face-fapping league reminds me of that scene in Titanic when the stewards tell everyone the situation is under control — despite standing ankle-deep in icy sea water.
Power Slap has been universally panned in the wake of last week’s debut episode and continues to receive criticism for putting its athletes in danger, specifically because slap fighting requires participants to trade unprotected blows until someone drops.
Hard to believe an athletic commission — which exists to protect the safety and welfare of athletes competing under its jurisdiction — would rubber stamp this nonsense. Perhaps the revenue UFC regularly brings to “Sin City” helped influence the decision.
Lamicella continues to downplay the recent anti-slap headlines, insisting the criticism is no different from the negativity UFC received in its formative stages. He also refuted arguments that suggest slappers cannot defend themselves in a sanctioned slap fight.
“On the ‘no defense,’ I mean, there’s no evasive defense. If your definition of defense is only evasion, then that’s obviously got some element of truth to it,” Lamicella told veteran combat sports reporter John Morgan (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “However, again, talking to these guys, there’s definitely defense. There is training the head, neck, shoulder muscles, and our sports science and 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).”
There are also elements of disfigurement.
Power Slap was created by UFC President Dana White, who was looking to capitalize on the social media phenomenon featuring Russian cheek geek Vasiliy “The Dumpling” Kamotskiy, among others. White was then later pinched for slapping his wife during a nightclub alteration in Cabo, which resulted in a minor delay of the Power Slap premiere.
Episode 2 of Power Slap airs this Weds. night at 10 p.m. ET on TBS.