Forget boxing or UFC, a brutal new sport is causing rifts online.
Shocking new footage has emerged of a violent ‘slapping competition’ – part of a controversial new ‘sporting’ trend sweeping Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Taking place in Kyrgyzstan, the ‘slap championships’ sees competitors of various sizes and builds subjecting each other to brutal open palmed blows to the face. They continue bludgeoning each other until someone backs down.
Check it out:
In the video, the seemingly normal men are seen staggering after their strikes, while others are noticeably dazed. The slaps are said to be so forceful they can even lead to knockouts.
According to the rules, participants cannot dodge or deflect their opponents’ violent slaps and competitors are required to take the ‘full force of each blow’. The phrase ‘takes one for the team’ brings on a whole new meaning…
Unsurprisingly, the bizarre sport comes with physical risks. In this particular tournament, one ‘slap fighter’ or, rather, slappers, suffered a broken tooth and a badly swollen jaw.
And yet, competitive slapping is growing in popularity.
Former WBA lightweight boxing champion Orzubek Nazarov refereed the contest.
Strangely, he told the 15 slap fighters that they “will feel very pleasant” during the competition.
I wish you firmness, and that the spectators feel pleasure. It’s cool when someone is just hit in the face for no reason.
We’d be inclined to disagree with Nazarov’s statement…
And we have serious questions about the controversial new sport: how do even you train for it? Who started it? And, most importantly, why would anyone want to take part?
Siberian farmer Vasily Kamotsky who won the Russian contest and went viral after he knocked out two opponents with single strikes, explained:
Everybody on YouTube writes ‘they’re such idiots’ and ‘why do this?’ But people are watching it and that means they must need it. They write negatively about it but they keep watching it.
Despite the negative feedback, people are still willing to compete.
@I used to do boxing,” said 23-year-old winner Aman Aydarov who received a £1,150 prize, adding:
It’s my first time in a slapping tournament and it was cool. This is such an adrenaline rush. I did not expect to win.
Unlike other organised sports such as boxing or UFC, competitive slapping is more of an equal opportunity gaming event – you don’t have to be an athlete, you just have to willing to take a battering.
Shall we start the petition to get this made into an Olympic sport?
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L’Oréal Blackett is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, and presenter with a lot of hair and a lot to say. A former digital magazine editor covering women’s issues and local news, she now works for a range of media publications including BBC Radio Manchester, Bumble and of course, UNILAD.