LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Power Slap League, a controversial contest approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission where two opponents slap each other in the face repeatedly, may be one of the newest televised sports in town but could a new challenger be approaching for the title of next big thing in obscure combat sports?
Enter ice fighting. Dubbed “the most extreme combat sport ever invented” by Ice Wars International, ice fighting consists of two one-minute rounds where fighters duke it out using MMA-style gloves, all on ice. Fights are decided by knockout, technical knockout or via a points system where judges score the rounds.
Weight classes include cruiser, which consists of fighters weighing more than 190 lbs but less than 205 lbs, heavy which limits fighters to the range between 205 and 220 lbs and heavy, for fighters 220 lbs and heavier, according to the IWI’s website.
There are rules for ice fighting. No headbutting is allowed, nor is kicking, biting, hair pulling, kneeing, tripping or holding of an opponent’s gloves. Additionally, each fighter must always keep their helmet and gloves on.
“I figured we just cut out the middleman of the hockey and we bring in just the hockey fights,” said AJ Galante, the president of International Ice Wars, in a video on the IWI website. “It’s going to be very Wrestlemania-esque.”
Is ice fighting the “next big thing” in Nevada combat sports? In March, “Ice Wars 3” will take the stage at the Cheyenne Ice & Events Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It will mark the sport’s first U.S. appearance.
“We were able to get our first two shows done because of the support of the Wyoming Combat Sports Commission,” said Galante.
In November, the Nevada Athletic Commission approved Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, to promote Power Slap League. The fledgling combat sport has scheduled upcoming events on March 9 and 11 at the UFC Apex in south Las Vegas, and folks in the Cowboy State will be able to make wagers on the fights as Wyoming became the first state to approve bets on Power Slap League events.
With Wyoming the U.S. home of ice fighting and the “King of the Rink” tournament, how long will it take for the combat sport to make its way to southern Nevada?
For his part, Galante expects Ice Wars 3 to continue growing and improving as Ice Wars International matures.
“I truly believe Ice Wars 3 is going to be special,” Galante said.