Slap fighting is monumentally stupid, which is why it’s such a shame to see a high-profile professional sports organization like the UFC push all in on trying to legitimize it with its Power Slap League airing weekly on TBS.
To be clear, slap fighting isn’t monumentally stupid simply because it’s dangerous and causes head trauma. After all, mixed martial arts and other traditional combat sports also are dangerous and cause head trauma. What makes slap fighting monumentally stupid is that competitors simply have to stand there and absorb full power open-hand slaps to the face.
There is no defense against traumatic brain injuries.
Which brings us to Power Slap president Frank Lamicella, who, when speaking with MMA Underground’s John Morgan, had this to say about defense in slap fighting (bold font added for emphasis).
“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 said. “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. (matters) 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).”
Is @powerslapleague really a sport if there is no defense from strikes? Power Slap boss Frank Lamicella says yes.
“There is 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.” pic.twitter.com/jn6Utq92uA
— John Morgan (@JohnMorgan_MMA) January 24, 2023
What an absolutely absurd explanation of what constitutes defense. Let’s break down Lamicella’s answer:
- We’ll give him some credit for reluctantly admitting there’s an “element of truth” about the lack of evasion, but we all know actual defense also includes the ability to cover up and block strikes like in boxing and MMA. Referees call it intelligently defending yourself. Slappers are prohibited from doing so, per the rules.
- Training your body – “head, neck, shoulder muscles” in this case – to absorb impact isn’t defense, no matter how you try to spin it.
- Clenching your jaw? Rolling with the slap? That’s just bracing for impact, not defense.
- And I’m sorry, but did this guy seriously suggest that closing your eyes is a form of defense? That’s dumb beyond belief.
No wonder he couldn’t say this with a straight face.
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