Donald Cerrone endorses Power Slap if you want to ‘hear CTE brain damage’: ‘Not even I would do this’
Donald Cerrone had a stirring endorsement for Dana White’s Power Slap project. Sort of.
The UFC Hall of Famer was on hand for the upstart promotion’s sixth event, which took place in Las Vegas on Friday, and when asked for his opinion on Power Slap, he gave a distinctly “Cowboy” answer.
“I love it,” Cerrone said. “This is, like, if you just want to watch knockout, knockout, knockout, and hear CTE brain damage, this is the event.”
Power Slap has been heavily pushed by UFC CEO Dana White even in the face of resistance from critics who have dismissed the competition as spectacle with little athletic merit. Much has also been said about the inherent danger of Power Slap, as success is determined by which of the participants can deliver the most powerful head strike with defense expressly forbidden in the rules.
Regardless of those concerns, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) officially licensed slap fighting for the state in October 2022, a decision former NAC chairman Stephen Cloobeck later regretted. “I made a mistake,” Cloobeck told The Associated Press in March 2023. “I’m not happy about it.”
Cerrone carved out a legendary fighting career competing for the WEC and then the UFC over the course of 15 years that saw him involved in memorable battles, compile a cavalcade of highlight-reel finishes, and once challenge for a UFC lightweight title. He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2023.
Despite a lifetime of in-cage wars, Cerrone is willing to admit that Power Slap might be a step too far for him.
“Not even I would do this,” Cerrone said with a laugh.