Slap-fighter In Danger of Losing Memory After Brutal KO Slap

A brain doctor claims a contestant on Dana White’s Power Slap League could suffer permanent damage after being brutally knocked out.

In the exhibition phase of the series, which took place 10 months ago, welterweights Chris Thomas and Chris Kennedy stepped on to the mat. With the very first slap Thomas threw, Kennedy was knocked unconscious and fell to the mat. In disturbing scenes, his whole body went stiff as officials gave him medical assistance. Kennedy was unable to get back to his feet to join Thomas and the referee when the official decision was read out.

Chris Nowinski, the founder of Concussion Legacy Foundation, has slammed UFC president White for launching the Power Slap League and thinks Kennedy may “never be the same” after the concerning knockout. “This is so sad. Note the fencing posture with the first brain injury,” Nowinski wrote. “He may never be the same. Dana White and TBS Network should be ashamed. Pure exploitation. What’s next, who can survive a stabbing?”

Just moments after his knockout loss, Kennedy suffered short-term memory loss and doctors had to remind him of what just happened. “You can sit on your butt right now. The doctor is next to you okay you got knocked out,” an official told him before Kennedy replied: “Got knocked out doing what, was I fighting?”.

The doctor replied: “Yes, you are in the slap event.” Short-term memory loss is not a rare occurrence when an athlete is knocked out in combat sports, but Kennedy’s case seemed extra serious as he had forgotten if he even fought in the competition. White was impressed with Thomas after his knockout win, stating: “He’s got unbelievable power, great energy, I love everything about that kid.”

The launch of Power Slap has been extremely controversial among fight fans and its introduction was not helped by White being publicly filmed slapping his wife on New Year’s Eve. MMA faced years of scrutiny during its early years but was saved by introducing a unified ruleset, although a slap league in which fighters cannot intelligently defend themselves has raised questions about the safety of the contestants.

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