WARNING: THE CONTENTS OF THIS ARTICLE IS GRAPHIC
There are calls for Dana White’s Slap League to be banned as fighters and medical professionals expressed dismay following its TV debut in the United States.
While the show garnered around 300,000 viewers, the controversial promotion, which was launched by the UFC’s president, has come under attack for the lack of safety for competitors.
Amid the clips and montages doing the rounds online, almost every single one displays combatants copping hits flush to the face, followed by sickening knockouts.
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In a world where fears around brain injuries in sport have intensified, viewers in the US seemed less than impressed by what was featured on the program.
Frightened viewers took to social media to air their concerns after witnessing one of the female participants forward roll seconds after copping a heavy open hand to the face.
Another competitor, Chris Kennedy, exhibited signs of concussion after he was slapped unconscious. Kennedy didn’t know where he was in a chat with the referee moments after the KO.
“You can sit on your butt right now,” the referee said.
“The doctor is next to you okay, you got knocked out.”
A clearly concussed Kennedy asked: “Got knocked out doing what? Was I fighting?”
The show has provoked plenty of reaction from the medical community as well as MMA fighters, who lament the fact those in battle can’t defend themselves.
”In MMA, boxing or any other combat sport a fight is stopped when a fighter ‘can’t intelligently defend themselves’. These people aren’t allowed to intelligently defend themselves from the start. It’s in the rules,” tweeted MMA reporter Danny Segura.
Former UFC fighter Al Iaquinta labelled the idea “sad” while Olympic boxer Anthony Fowler called it “cruel” while pointing the finger at White.
“People clearly trying to do whatever they can to do earn money and Dana White using them to have a good laugh at,” he added.
Physician Dr Mauricio Gonzalez, wrote: “What is this nonsense? How is this legal?”
“This is so sad,” noted concussion expert Dr Chris Nowinski. “Note the fencing posture with the first brain injury. He may never be the same. Dana White and TBS should be ashamed. Pure exploitation. What’s next, ‘Who can survive a stabbing?'”
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