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Former UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin given a role at Dana White's Power Slap League

TBS will premiere Dana White's slap fighting league on January 11. Competitors will slap each other across the jaw as hard as they can in an attempt to knock each other out.

This type of spectacle is not new; slap fighting has been around for a few years. However, the UFC President is giving the sport  unprecedented exposure and legitimacy.

White is obviously attempting to entice an MMA audience to his new venture. This is made clearer by the news that former UFC middleweight champion Forest Griffin has been cast in a role on the show.

Griffin told TMZ in an interview that he was in charge of ensuring that competitors did not sustain more than an acceptable amount of brain damage. Griffin said, explaining what he was hoping to prevent. “You’ve taken the first trauma and when your head hits the ground, bang bang, both sides of your brain actually bounce against your skull. We want to prevent that and make it just the initial impact and have that be what causes you or not causes you to win or lose the competition.”

Brains bouncing off the inside of the skull pose a significant risk. This motion is what causes brain bleeds, which have claimed the lives of several MMA fighters and boxers, including Tim Hague, Joao Carvalho, and Dwight Ritchie.

However, movement is not the only risk combat athletes take with their brains. When the brain is forced to rotate, within the skull, it can cause a number of symptoms which, we often refer to as a 'concussion'. A mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI, is the technical term for this.

MTBIs cause the release of a protein called tau in the brain. This protein causes brain decay throughout the body. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is caused by this process (CTE). CTE can cause dementia, depression, and a higher risk of suicide.


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