WATCH: SA’s Danie van Heerden making a name for himself in Dana White’s Power Slap ... but is it safe?

FILE - Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP

FILE - Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP

Published Mar 9, 2024


South African Danie van Heerden has been making a name for himself in the sport of Power Slap.

The Power Slap promotion began in 2022, and was created by Ultimate Fighting Championship chief executive Dana White. Since then, they’ve hosted a number of events, and with more on the way, the sport is growing.

@coolstorybru_ Danie van Heerden is a South African man competing in Power Slap 😂![CDATA[]]>🤣![CDATA[]]>🇿![CDATA[]]>🇦 All the individuals in this video are professionals and are safe! #southafrica #tiktoksouthafrica #tiktoksouthafrica🇿![CDATA[]]>🇦 ♬ original sound - Cool Story Bru! 🇿![CDATA[]]>🇦

The 37-year-old Van Heerden is currently number four in the Power Slap super heavyweight rankings, and is aiming even higher honours.

Asked what his ultimate goal was, Van Heerden said: “Becoming the champ and to be a household name and role model to youngsters.”

Van Heerden from Pretoria first got got involved in the sport in 2022 after competing at the Slap Fight South African promotion. And since then, he’s been hooked.

“This is sports on a world-class platform and you’re never too old or heavy for anything. I want to prove to myself that whatever I put my mind to, I can and will come out on top,” he said on the Power Slap website.

The sport involves opponents taking turns slapping each other in the face as hard as they can. A winner is decided after three rounds, or when someone gets knocked out.

The sport, however, has its critics. According to reports, doctors feel the repeated blows to the head could lead to an increased risk of chronic brain injury diseases.

WBC lightweight boxing champion Ryan Garcia has also added his voice to the criticism, and was reported to have said: “Power slap is a horrible idea and it needs to be stopped."

UFC fighter Sean O'Malley has also made his opinions heard, saying he refuses to watch it because of its association with brain injury.

UFC boss White has downplayed the danger of the sport, saying it’s not as dangerous as other sports where head contact is made.

"They take three to five slaps per event; fighters in boxing take 300 to 400 punches per fight."

IOL Sport

Related Topics:

ufccombat sports