Slap fighting is the most inane ‘sport’ we have going right now. And thanks to Dana White, a man who slapped his wife across the face — at least twice — a few weeks back, the sport is now sanctioned in the US and available on mainstream TV. .
Dana White’s Power Slap League isn’t the only game in town, though. People have been making money off this spectacle for a while. Recently, at an RXF Slap League event in Romania, we saw just how brutal the alleged sport can be.
Sorin Comsa won the event in question, but in doing so he saw his face transformed into a swollen mess. Here’s the video (if you need to see it).
This guy's face swelled like crazy and he's bleeding but he's still going, can't be too healthy pic.twitter.com/jSIae09dt2— Matysek (@Matysek88) January 16, 2023
And here is Comsa showing off his damaged face after the fact.
All combat sports, and many other sports, are terrible for our brains. Any hit to the head can cause long term damage. ‘Concussion’ is a well known, but misleading, term for the symptoms we often see when someone is hit hard in the head. Those symptoms often include losing consciousness, light sensitivity and nausea.
Impacts that cause concussion symptoms do lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) a condition where a protein named tau eats away at vital structures in the brain. Tau impact on the brain can lead to extreme mood shifts, lack of cognitive awareness, depression and increased risk of suicidality.
However, science has shown that any hit to the head can cause tau to be released in the brain. That’s any hit, not just those that elicit symptoms we typically associate with concussions.
So, when it comes to MMA, whether a fighter brushes off a stiff jab or is flat-lined by a headkick, tau is still being released in their brain.
In slap fighting, a spectacle where the only offensive option is to smash a hand into someone’s head with no methods of defense to stop it, virtually every competitor will likely be unleashing tau (the same protein that causes Alzheimer’s disease) onto their brains. Repeatedly. Is it worth it?
About the author: Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. (full bio)