California State Athletic Commission Approves Bare-Knuckle And Power Slap

December 11, 2023
3 months
California State Athletic Commission Approves Bare-Knuckle And Power Slap

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has officially endorsed bare-knuckle fighting and Power Slap. 

The move is significant as Florida, Utah and New York have now approved bareknuckle fighting. Meanwhile, the vote for Power Slap was just for California. The commission approved both sports unanimously with a 6-0 vote. As a result, BKFC has confirmed that they will set up their first card in California starting in the spring of next year. The decision to approve Power Slap was significant in light of its criticism. 

The former chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Stephen J. Cloobeck, has previously expressed his regret about getting the sport more popular. Cloobeck had been a member of the commission when a vote was passed to approve it.

But given that there are serious concerns over the safety of the sport, with question marks over its ability to cause brain damage long term, Cloobeck had many reservations. Dr. Bennet Omalu, who happens to be a CTE researcher, also had this to say. 

Power Slap Concerns

“It is a very dumb, very stupid and unsafe. It is primitive. To me, such a sport is inconsistent with the intelligence of humans. It is possible that a participant could die from this. Somebody could die or suffer catastrophic brain damage and become a vegetable.

“How can he [Dana White] make that statement? It is like saying you will make a loaded gun safe. I do not blame the organizers so much, everybody wants to make a buck or easy money. But I feel the competitors have so much stupidity. It is silly, given what we know about concussion and blunt force trauma to the head. Why is TBS showing such a primitive sport? It should not be on TV,” Omalu said

At the same time, Congressmen have also spoken out against the sport. Bill Pascrell Jr. and Don Bacon recently sent a letter to Ari Emanuel, Endeavor’s CEO, expressing their concern over the sport’s safety. They referenced how the sport could brain damage and a deterioration in mental health moving forward.

Congress Reacts

“The governing bodies of (other) sports have made strides in recent years to preserve the history and tradition of physical activity while seeking to understand the causes of CTE and implement appropriate safety precautions. The Power Slap makes no similar good faith effort to do the same while exposing participants to brain trauma without protective measures,” the letter said 

Despite this, the sport appears to be more popular than ever. According to some recent comments, White revealed that the sport resonated with a broader social media fanbase. He expanded on how the views were significantly higher compared to other combat sports, which may be a surprise since Power Slap is new to the combat sports world.

“The social media and digital is insane. I don’t know if you guys have looked at that but on TikTok, you know, we averaged 10 million views per post on TikTok. And to put it into perspective, the WWE does 1.5 million, UFC does 770, 000, and the NFL does 545 000. We’re pulling 10 million,” White revealed 

Regardless of the perception around the sport, there is no denying that it has gotten people talking. And for now, it is here to stay.

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