Kansas native Vernon Cathey is one of the featured athletes in the inaugural season of TBS’s reality show Power Slap: Road To The Title.
We sat down with Cathey to get his thoughts on competing in Power Slap, the new slap-fighting league being pushed by Dana White and the UFC.
Before getting into Power Slap, Cathey had competed in a variety of sports including MMA, the Highland Games, and track and field. According to Cathey, he got into Power Slap after he was invited to go against someone he was supposed to fight years ago.
“I did MMA for years. I stopped doing that, and I had a family and everything, and then one of the competitors that I was supposed to fight years ago, he got on the league and they asked me to come and join to go against him.”
Cathey went on to knock out his opponent with a vicious slap to earn a spot inside the Power Slap house.
Meet Vernon Cathey, a former Highland Games athlete who hits like a sledgehammer 🔨 [ Power Slap: Road to the Title | Wednesday January 11, 10PM ET/ 7PM PT on TBS ]
Cathey says that tossing competitions in the Highland Games, a traditional Scottish sporting event that features several strongman competitions, helped him develop the technique he uses for slapping in Power Slap.
“Honestly, it’s just a technique of throwing the implements a lot of torsional rotation and keeping the hands straight and the arms straight. So, yeah, just actually throwing in that event helped me do it.”
Cathey credits his experience in competing in track and field for his calm presence before matches.
“I ran track, so I was a sprinter. So there was always that moment, like before you started the race, that you’re sitting there, everything is quiet and you’re just ready. So I was used to it in that aspect.”
While competing comes easy for Cathey, living in the house with 20 other people and a camera crew has been the hardest thing for him to deal with.
“The competing aspect is what I expected, but all the media and the camera crew and stuff like that, that’s the hard part.
“That was the hardest thing. I did blow up a couple of times. I wanted to go to bed. These guys are partying, and there’s just a bunch of different personalities, so it was hard. I mean, they did a great job of making a TV show.”
As for the controversy surrounding Power Slap and whether or not it should be sanctioned, Cathey believes he should be free to do whatever he wants despite the concern for his health from critics of the sport.
“Well, I’m concerned with people’s health, too. If we’re going to go that route, I think we shouldn’t have any fast food or pop or sugar and cereal. Where do you draw the line? Like on protecting someone that’s no one else’s business.”
Cathey says his ultimate goal is to compete in Power Slap for as long as he can to grow the sport before transitioning into a commentator’s role.
“Well, my goal is to do the best I can, be great to people in the organization, go as far as I can and maybe get a job out on the other side of the camera later on as the sport grows and be like a Michael Bisping or Joe Rogan, get to the point where I’m there, they call me. Maybe even, like, finding new fighters or something like that. But I’m going to go as long as I can, and I’d like to transition to the other side.”