Sonny Bill Williams has slammed UFC president Dana White’s latest move, calling it a “big NO for me.”
The dual international and boxer asked on Twitter what rugby and league fans thought about the controversial new combat sport Power Slap, where competitors are slapped across the face without protection, with the aim of delivering a knockout.
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The tweet from the sports star garnered close to 200 replies with the majority sitting in the same camp as him in condemning the sport.
Irish Times write Johnny Watterson replied: “Ever seen a dafter “sport”?”
Boxer Billy Dib replied: “This is not sport, this is stupidity.”
Social media was recently left in disbelief when a clip from the RXF Slap Fighting Championships in Romania went viral.
Competitor Sorin Comsa was whacked with a devastating blow by Alexandru Gorczyca, but remained on his feet.
He instantly started tapping the top of his head – telling officials the hit from his rival had missed his mark, it’s against the rules to hit the temple, orbit, nose, ear or larynx.
But all that was noticeable in the 30-second clip was the horrific disfigurement Comsa’s face had undergone.
The entire left side of his face was left a swollen and bloody mess as the barbaric nature of the sport was laid bare for all to see.
Despite his horrific disfigurement, Comsa went on to claim the championship victory and pocket the sum of $7,800. Which may just cover his hospital bills.
The clip garnered close to 10 million views with social media users blowing up and calling for the sport to be axed.
This is Boxing writer Al Dawson wrote: “This is really grim to watch. Like, I just feel bad for everyone involved, but particularly — obviously — the guy getting slapped so hard he’s bleeding and looking disfigured.”
MMA fighter Josh Barnett wrote: “This type of event (I won’t doing to call it a sport) is the dumbest thing there is going. X-Arm seems like the Olympics in comparison. Why do people support this sh*t?”
Podcast host Tony Marinaro added: “Enough already. This has to stop. Ban slap fighting.”
Neuroscientist Chris Nowinski, a doctor fighting to stop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), wrote: “I believe adults can choose to do dangerous jobs if they understand the risks & reasonable efforts are made to protect them. But head hits with no defence is just sad. It reminds us that people who don’t take the risks often exploit those who do.”
In a day and age when more sports around the world are turning their attention to protecting the health and welfare of players and their brains, this sport is going the other way. Despite the countless stories of how damaging and deadly CTE can be with repeated head knocks, slap fighting organisers are charging on.
Dana White is president of the UFC and is also launching the Power Slap League, and blew up at people calling out the sport.
“Because we spend the money to make sure that we have two healthy people in there,” White said.
“With proper medical attention during and after the fight. These are all the things we need to educate people on, just like we needed to educate people on mixed martial arts.
“But, in slap, they take 3-5 slaps per event. Fighters in boxing take 300-400 punches a fight. And guess what? You know what my answer to that is? If you don’t f***ing like it, don’t watch it.
“Nobody’s asking you to watch this! Oh, you’re disgusted by it? Watch The Voice.”