There’s a lot of discussion about combat sports, but slap fighting stands out from the crowd. Despite becoming a viral sensation, the sport has been around for over a decade, originating in Russia. We’ve closely examined this emerging sport, covering everything from slap fighting injuries to the rules of slap fighting. Stick with us to become an expert on the top slap fighters.

What is Slap Fighting? 

It might sound like a simple question, but the actual event could go in multiple directions. It could be like a traditional MMA fight, but only slaps are allowed. Fortunately, it’s neither of those options. It’s a much more visceral battle.

Slap Fighting Championship

Although it might seem simple, there are slap fighting rules. It’s not just about who can smash someone in the face with the most power; there’s precision involved in each match. 

  1. No protective headgear, hair covering the face, jewelry, or lotions on the face. Competitors can apply chalk to their hands.
  2. Strikes must be with the palm, not using the backhand, and cannot hit the eyes, mouth, or ears.
  3. All competitors must wear a mouthguard and cotton ear wicks
  4. There are 10 rounds, with each round consisting of 1 slap each. All rounds are scored based on slap effectiveness and defender reaction.
  5. When fighting, there are fouls for each fighter depending on their position as striker or defender. 

In slap fighting, there are separate divisions for men and women, each with weight classes. Medical professionals present to assess any injuries that may occur from slap fighting. Additionally, there are catchers to ensure contestants who get knocked out won’t hit the floor without protection. These measures are put in place to protect the competitors during the contest, similar to how boxing has medical staff to keep fighters safe. 

Slap Sport Rounds

In a face slap sport match, each round involves fighters giving a single slap. The first slapper is determined by a coin toss, and they take turns for each subsequent round. Each round has scoring for the fight, similar to a boxing match. The scoring system works by rating how effective the slap is, how much damage it deals, and whether the strike was legal. 

Legal Slap Fighting Strikes

A strike is legal when it follows these criteria:

  • Flat and open-handed, using the palm
  • Fingers and palm only
  • It must lead with the palm, not the carpal bones
  • It hits the cheek without hitting the chin, temple, ear, or eye

Although the striking is a significant aspect of each event, the defenders also have rules they must follow. If they fail to adhere to the following commands, they can lose even if they successfully absorb the slap. 

  • They cannot flinch before the strike takes place
  • No blocking by chin tucking or shoulder raising
  • If the defender flinches or blocks, the striker gets another opportunity 
  • Multiple infractions lead to losing points
  • Match delaying and abusive language have a warning/point deduction/disqualification 

Although it’s not a fight in the traditional sense, visceral action still takes place, making it highly entertaining. 

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What Is Slap Fighting: Who are the Fighters?

The tournament is an offshoot of the Polish PunchDown League, attracting some top fighters. Many of the Slap Fighting Championship winners are experienced veterans from Punchdown, giving it a lot of prestige within the sport. 

The current roster includes the following fighters, many of whom are champion for their respective weight divisions. 

  • Da Crazy Hawaiian
  • Dawid “Zales” Zalewski
  • Vasilii “Dumpling” Kamotskii
  • Solid Slug
  • Dudzio
  • Darius
  • Mad Max
  • Highlander
  • Frank The Tank
  • Wolverine
  • White Simba

It sees some of the best slap fighters in the world taking their spot to try and earn a slap sport salary. 

Leading up to a Slap Fight

The Slap Fighting Championship is similar to boxing and MMA. All fighters must conform to a weight class, which helps reduce mismatches in size. Although some viral videos show significantly larger slappers beating smaller opponents, the Slap Fighting Championship treats it as a legitimate competition. 

As a result, the SFC has the same weight class distinctions as the UFC and allows catch-weight bouts. In every fight, two fighters of similar size face off, making it more interesting. This removes the opportunity for an underdog to surprise everyone, but it ensures the fighters’ safety is paramount. 

Is Slap Fighting Legitimate?

The best leagues are legitimate events, providing the fighters with the opportunity to compete with each other for the best prizes. However, there are some questions about the fairness of the competition. A significant example is from the event on March 5th, 2022. In this slap fight, David Zales and Da Crazy Hawaiian competed against each other. It ended with a Zales win, but there was a controversy about the result. 

During the match, Da Crazy Hawaiian complained that the judges were all Polish. Since Zales is a Polish fighter, he felt this wasn’t fair. While it may seem wrong to question the integrity of the judges based on their nationality, DCH fell after a big slap, and one of the people catching him started to celebrate. 

It doesn’t mean the Slap Fighting Championship isn’t legitimate. However, more stringent vetting is undoubtedly needed when selecting officials. Although this incident doesn’t leave a positive impression, it’s unfair to discredit slap fighting because of it. Boxing and MMA suffer from controversial judging, and they are sports with much more pedigree. 

What do Slap Fighters Earn?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a Slap Fighting Championship salary. Winners of fights receive a purse, but as it’s a minor sport, they’re not particularly large. There are no confirmed figures, but it’s been rumored that the winner of the last Slap Fighting Championship event took $5,500 as their prize. Although that seems like a significant amount of money, it pales compared to what’s available in boxing and MMA. 

Lower purses can be an issue for fighters from around the world. If an Indian slapper wanted to compete, the costs would be too high compared to the purse. Additionally, fighters lose 20% of their purse instantly if they cannot make the weight cut. Any further failures to meet new deadlines will cause them to lose up to another 30%. As a result, an already meager prize can become a pittance.

Can you Bet on Slap Fights?

There is betting available for slap fights. It follows a similar method to other combat sports, with multiple markets available for each event. Some of the popular options you can find are as follows:

  • Outright winner
  • Method of victory
  • Round of victory
  • Over/under number of slaps

It’s not as easy to research the events as it is with other sports, as the stats aren’t as easy to find. However, because there are fewer data points, you can compile your own stats without too much effort. You’ll need to watch the different fights to create your stat sheet, but if you’re a fan of slap fighting, that won’t be much of a problem. Sportzino offers a huge range of markets on combat sports for you to choose from. 

Other Slap Fighting Leagues 

The Slap Fighting Championship isn’t the only league available. Other options are available, with many offering their wares in the US. 

Power Slap

The most famous alternative. Power Slap appeared on TNT and is the brainchild of UFC figurehead Dana White. While there was some controversy around it initially, it had a strong following and saw some fantastic bouts. 

PunchDown

The precursor to the Slap Fighting Championship. PunchDown was a slap league that made David Zales a big name in the sport. It’s unlikely to see a comeback, but it could reboot if Zales decides to move back home. 

Chin Check Slap Down Championship

This company has quite a mouthful for its name. However, it’s spearheaded by a popular name in slap fighting, Da Crazy Hawaiian. The first Chin Check event saw Kainoa, Mana the Hawaiian Hitman, and Micah win the free bouts on the show. 

SlapFIGHT Championship

This is a different league despite having a name similar to Slap Fighting Championship. Starting in 2017, it’s the oldest US slap fighting promotion and has seen Frank the Tank and Wolverine compete in its events. 

FAQ

  • Who owns the Slap Fighting Championship?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Logan Paul promoted the rebrand to SlapFighting after changing from PunchDown. However, the company’s owner is Schiaffo LLC, which also promotes its rival, Power Slap. 

  • Where to watch the Slap Fighting Championship?

Slap Fighting Championship events are available on YouTube and Rumble. However, if you want to view Power Slap, it’s available on TNT, with highlights on YouTube. 

  • What are the rules of Slap Fighting?

The basic rule is to slap your opponent until you knock them out. However, further up this page, you can find a more detailed breakdown of the rules.

  • Is Slap Fighting a Sport?

Yes, slap fighting is a sport. While it’s not as traditional as other sports, it’s similar in tone to combat sports and is an extremely exciting event. 

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