Former UFC middleweight and The Ultimate Fighter 23 veteran Eric Spicely called the pay for Power Slap League “f****** nuts.”
On Monday, Spicely tweeted that he received a verbal offer to compete on the slap-fighting program and balked at the compensation, which he said was $2,000 to show and $2,000 to win. Longtime MMA analyst Luke Thomas captured Spicely’s messages, which can be seen below.
UFC veteran Eric Spicely said he was contacted to see if he’d like to participate in the Power Slap League. Not sure what the full pay scale is, but this nugget caught my attention: pic.twitter.com/Qlej95KmJs
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) January 23, 2023
In follow-up texts to MMA Fighting, Spicely clarified that he passed on the Power Slap deal and never received a contract, which he believed mirrored that of The Ultimate Fighter with contestants receiving small bumps up in pay for wins. He estimated the contract covered three slap fights during the course of filming the reality show and added the total payout for the show’s winner was around $10,000.
A UFC official previously identified as a Power Slap League PR contact did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Spicely’s messages. Power Slap League salaries are disclosed to the Nevada Athletic Commission, which regulates the contest but does not release publicly salary data after modifying its disclosure rules in 2020.
Spicely most recently fought in MMA in September 2021 under the OKTAGON banner and suffered a first-round TKO loss, his fourth straight setback in MMA competition. He was released from the UFC in August 2020 after a botched weight cut led to the cancellation of a scheduled bout with Markus Perez at UFC Vegas 5.
Afterward, Spicely opened up about his struggles with depression after suffering a severe concussion in his last UFC fight, a decision loss to Deron Winn at UFC Greenville in 2019.
Medical experts, fighters and MMA observers have widely criticized Power Slap League for potential danger to its participants, who are forbidden to defend themselves when being slapped. UFC President Dana White, Power Slap’s co-creator, has said the organization has made safety a priority in pre- and post-fight care. But his assurances have been undercut by violent knockouts captured during filming of the TBS show. Experts say the repeated concussions suffered by participants are traumatic brain injuries that could have negative long-term health effects including CTE.
Before licensing the Power Slap league, an NAC chairman asked its officials, “You will make sure no one dies” during competitions. In 2021, Polish strongman Artur “Waluś” Walczak was put into a medically-induced coma and died after participating in a slap fight.
The Power Slap League was founded by White, UFC and its corporate parent Endeavor, former UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and TV executive Craig Pilligian, who produced TUF.