After making their US broadcast debut on FITE TV two weeks ago, the slap fighting league known as SlapStrike aims to promote their first live event on US soil this summer.
On a recent edition of Jason Burgos’ Back Talk, SlapStrike CEO Glenn Pere announced details of when and where the organization plans to bring its slap-fight content to live American audiences.
“We’ve been sanctioned in Wyoming. Which we are so excited about. It’s going to take place in Cheyenne,” Pere said. “It’s going to probably be early summer, and it’s going to be headlined by ‘Da Crazy Hawaiian’ [Koa Viernes]. He’s 6’3” [and] 370-pounds.”
This major news comes despite the controversy surrounding the promotion’s first event in Poland on March 20. The event, dubbed “The War From Warsaw” saw home country favorite, and recent Punchdown champion, Dawid “Zales” Zalewski receive two overtime rounds of slaps against tournament favorite Vasiliy “the Dumpling” Kamotsky. Even though Kamotsky seemed to be winning after three slaps apiece, and no other bouts in the competitive tourney saw rounds added on to the mandatory three slap opportunities.
Although Pere promises rule adjustments and more clarity when it comes to judges’ decisions at future US events, the veteran combat sports marketer is certainly not against controversy being attached to his promotion or the sport. He actually sees it as the brand continuing a combat sports tradition.
“Love controversy my friend,” he said with a laugh. “Listen, this is not the first combat sport that there’s going to be controversy over a decision. I can take you through championship boxing fights, wrestling, UFC, on every level there’s never been a combat sport that never had controversy. So as far as I’m concerned, okay, a little controversy. Listen, I think [Kamotsky] won in three rounds, but make no mistake, the fans loved it going to an extra two rounds, and I did also. While it was controversial, it was also thrilling.”
The controversy certainly did not hurt the interest of some viewers who watched the event and felt compelled to be a part of the action themselves.
“What’s really great about this is, on the SlapStrike website, if you want to compete, go to our website. Go to open tryouts [and] send us some videos and pictures. If we like what we see we’ll contact you. After the event, we got around 180 people that sent us photographs and video, [and] want to compete in this,” says Pere.
You can watch the full interview and hear the CEO explain why the judges went to overtime rounds in “The War From Warsaw” finals. If the promotion has plans to introduce weight-classes. How future events cards will be formatted, and much more.
While finishing up his degree in Journalism at Lehman College in New York, Burgos first started covering the sport of MMA in 2016. Contributing for sites such as LWOS MMA, MMASucka (where he served as a Senior Editor) and eventually landing a gig in 2018 with Sherdog. Over the years, he has also produced and co-hosted several MMA-themed podcasts, and currently works as a freelance contributor for several sites including MyMMANews.