Haters Be Damned - Power Slap Is Here To Stay
I went to the very first press conference for Dana White's Power Slap league at Radio City Music Hall a few months ago, having no idea what to expect, and walked away with my jaw on the floor after they showed a quick preview for the show.
If you are living under a rock and somehow haven't seen highlights, take a look….
This shit is crazy. Like - absolutely insane. These people are hitting each other like mack trucks out there, and half the time, they're just eating the shots and withstanding the pain! It's tough to watch and impossible to look away from all at the same time.
I mean, I won't lie; I was cringing and wincing with every shot at first, but after actually giving the series a shot (out of respect to Uncle Dana) and checking it out after AEW Dynamite every week, I gotta admit - I'm hooked.
It's basically structured like The Ultimate Fighter, with two coaches leading their fighters through the season, and everyone is living under the same roof the whole time. The stuff in the house has been as funny and entertaining as the fights themselves (as per usual with these shows), with pure chaos and moments like guys admitting they got into this sport because too many chicks left them….
Now, of course, like anything else - Power Slap has its haters. There's a very vocal group of 'em on social media who are obviously rooting for the show's demise week-to-week, criticizing the sport for how "barbaric" it is and bringing up the potential concussions/CTE ramifications.
When it comes to the concussion stuff, I personally feel like I can't sit here and call out Power Slap for allowing these grown ass dudes to smack each other (for a maximum three times per fight) and then turn around and talk about how beautiful Leon Edwards head kick knockout over Kamaru Usman was. You know what I'm saying? We praise fighters for these WARS where hundreds of significant strikes are landed, where lacerations are handed out like candy on Halloween, but a couple slaps is where we draw the line? I find that strange, but maybe that's just me.
The stoppages have been very good this season, with referees always leaning on the side of safety, and the head catchers (one of which is UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin) do a great job.
When it comes to those dissecting the ratings and numbers, however - they're going to be at this for a long time, because after my talk with Dana White today, I don't think Power Slap is going anywhere.
According to the UFC and Power Slap President, the show is currently sitting at 10 million total global episode video views, 2.5 millions followers on social media, and 1 BILLION total social media video views on the #powerslap hashtag. Some other key stats include peak viewership reaching 534k live viewers, Episode 6 being #2 behind Kyrie's first game with the Mavs, and the show consistently holding 50% of AEW's audience.
Dana also teased some big news about the future of Power Slap that he plans to break with us, so stay tuned for more announcements of the sort.
Check out our full interview for much more on Power Slap, a little on The Ultimate Fighter with Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler, the return of Jon Jones against Cyril Gane, and even some Jake Paul talk - per usual. It was a great time.