As UFC CEO Dana White pushes for the rise of Power Slap in the combat sports arena, veteran referee Mark Smith defends the controversial activity’s safety measures. With over 100 UFC fights under his belt in the past two years, Smith has been a prominent figure in the Power Slap broadcasts, emphasizing the importance of stringent safety protocols.

According to report by a Yahoo Sports, Power Slap involves competitors taking turns slapping each other in the face with hands behind their backs, drawing criticism for its lack of defensive capabilities and emphasis on knockouts. However, Smith assures that the Nevada Athletic Commission, the sanctioning body for the activity, takes safety seriously.

Speaking to MMA Junkie, Smith stated, “From a safety perspective, we do a lot of preparation for Slap. Pervasive rules, before every event, I take all the fighters through an extensive safety and rules meeting. In addition to that, we have the greatest doctors in the world who are cage-side or matside. Together we work with that staff. We don’t want anyone taking unnecessary damage, so if someone is not prepared to continue slap, we must step in.”

Acknowledging the inherent connection between combat sports and head trauma, Smith emphasizes the care for athletes in Power Slap. Despite the raw format, he believes it poses no greater risk than other combat activities.

“We care about the athletes,” Smith asserted. “We don’t want to have any long-term damage or injuries. The sport is going to continue to climb. It just got approved in a couple of other states. So we look forward to being a part of that. It’s safe.”

Smith anticipates Power Slap’s enduring presence and evolution over time, emphasizing ongoing efforts to improve safety. He mentioned potential developments such as neck and hand guards, focusing on impact areas.

“We just wanted to make sure we were all prepared, both the commission, all the officials, and as well as our doctors, to make sure we’re doing this appropriately and safely as possible for the fighters,” Smith concluded. “We can still make improvements. Some neck guards are potentially coming out, and some hand guards. Focusing on where they hit. There’s a lot of things we can do to improve the sport to make it safer.”



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