Dana White fact check: Is PowerSlap really ‘#1 in all of sports’?

Dana White's Power Slap claims are reminiscent of his past UFC proclamations about how the MMA organization would outrun the NFL and the World Cup.

By: Trent Reinsmith | 5 months ago
Dana White fact check: Is PowerSlap really ‘#1 in all of sports’?
Copyright: Aaron Meullion

After a disappointing debut season on TBS, Dana White’s Power Slap league briefly found itself without a home. After their network partner passed on broadcasting season two of the slap fighting league, most likely due to disappointing ratings, Power Slap inked a deal with streaming service Rumble. During the UFC 288 post-fight press conference, White spoke about the future of Power Slap.

“The deal that I just cut for Slap is bigger than the UFC deal we cut with SpikeTV after the first season of The Ultimate Fighter,” White said. “I don’t give a sh-t what the media thinks about it. They don’t matter. It’s unbelievable. Not only is it unbelievable money-wise, it’s been unbelievable as far as social media goes.

“We’re number one in all of sports, and when I say all of sports, if you take the NBA, NHL, NFL, F-1, WWE, and who am I forgetting, and add them all together, their numbers don’t compare to Slap.”

Looking at the followers and subscriber counts of the sports/leagues White said Power Slap was dominating, readers would be hard-pressed to believe his claims.

The Competition

Power Slap Social Media Accounts

  • YouTube: 120,000 subscribers
  • Instagram: 868,000 followers
  • TikTok: 3.2 million followers
  • Twitter: 21,900 followers
  • Facebook: 53,000 followers

NFL Social Media Accounts

  • YouTube: 11.2 million subscribers
  • Instagram: 27.6 million followers
  • TikTok: 11.2 million followers
  • Twitter: 33 million followers
  • Facebook: 19.5 million followers

NBA Social Media Accounts

  • YouTube: 20.4 million subscribers
  • Instagram: 80 million followers
  • TikTok: 19.6 million followers
  • Twitter: 43.2 million followers
  • Facebook: 46.87 million followers

NHL Social Media Accounts

  • YouTube: 1.91 million subscribers
  • Instagram: 6 million followers
  • TikTok: 2.4 million followers
  • Twitter: 6.8 million followers
  • Facebook: 4.78 million followers

F1 Social Media Accounts

  • YouTube: 8.96 million subscribers
  • Instagram: 22.8 million followers
  • TikTok: 5.9 million followers
  • Twitter: 9.3 million followers
  • Facebook: 12.76 million followers

WWE Social Media Accounts

  • YouTube: 94.7 million subscribers
  • Instagram: 28.1 million followers
  • TikTok: 23.1 million followers
  • Twitter: 13.2 million followers
  • Facebook: 76.53 million followers

Graphic Representation of Social Media Followers

Capto Capture 2023 05 08 01 06 19 PM

White promised to produce numbers to back his claims, but those statistics have not been published as of yet. Bloody Elbow reached out to the UFC for that material, but we have yet to hear back from the promotion as of press time.

YouTube views

Judging from YouTube numbers, Power Slap does not compare to any of the sports White mentioned. The most popular Power Slap YouTube video has 608,000 views. Meanwhile, the Game 3 highlights from the NBA playoff series between the Golden State Warriors and LA Lakers—which took place on Saturday—has already racked up more than 4.5 million views on the streaming platform.

TikTok views

The big win, and likely what Dana White is crowing about, is how well Power Slap has done on TikTok—with three videos topping 50 million views and one at 351.9 million. All things considered, the contest was made for that kind of platform, since a whole interaction can be captured, start-to-finish in a single 30-second video clip.

However, by all appearances, Power Slap’s videos there aren’t monetized. They don’t have ads or a paywall. And looking at metrics beyond views, White’s startup has generated just 18 million “likes” out of its more than 500 million views. Compared to the NFL, which has generated 471 million positive fan interactions with its much lower viral-video count content.

Maybe all these other sports combined can’t create one video that gets 350 million views. But if that number can’t be monetized in any way, then it’s not much of a sales pitch. Beyond that, it’ll be interesting to see if the slap fighting league can deliver year-over-year growth that will compare to F1, which had a reported 4.9 billion streams across its platforms in 2022.

Bigger than World Cup and NFL?

White’s claims regarding Power Slap felt oddly reminiscent of his past proclamations about how big the UFC would one day be.

For example, in 2008, White declared, “Remember that I told you this: in the next five to eight years, this thing’s going to be the biggest sport in the world — bigger than the NFL, bigger than Major League Soccer, bigger than World Cup soccer or whatever the hell they call it. Bigger than anything. So remember I told you that.”

We do remember those claims. Especially as they relate to the NFL, which drew 113 million U.S. viewers to Super Bowl LVII. Or as they relate to World Cup Soccer, which had close to 1.5 billion worldwide viewers for the 2022 final between Argentina and France. For the UFC, their competitive edge there remains as much a fantasy today it was in 2008.

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About the author
Trent Reinsmith
Trent Reinsmith

Trent Reinsmith is a freelance writer based out of Baltimore, MD. He has been covering sports for more than 15 years, with a focus on MMA for most of that time. Trent focuses on the day-to-day business of MMA — both inside and outside the cage — for Bloody Elbow.

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