(Note: SbB Senior Writer Tuffy is on the ground in Vegas this weekend for UFC 100 and provides this report.)
The festivities surrounding UFC 100 aren’t limited to the activities under the purview of Dana White. From the professional nightclub/porn card distributors that somehow slipped into Mandalay Bay after the weigh-in to meet the crowd just outside the doors to the banquet halls of nearly every casino in the city with a big-screen TV and enough money to cover the PPV, everyone wants in.
However, the event closest to UFC’s roots occurred last night as up-and-coming amateur promoter Tuff-N-Uff put up a card with a twist: 10 matches, all women. (This from the group that brought us the MMA debut of former Playboy model LaTasha Marzolla last May.)
Marketed as the first all-femme gig in Vegas history, at least 4,000 fans (many in town for UFC 100) came out to see 20 women grapple on a Friday night.
And those fans come back to something we said earlier today: the makeup of the UFC fan base (and MMA in general) may be the best-kept secret to the general public. The bloodthirsty young male demo is still present and accounted for, but we saw pack of males far less than young couples. Even families made a decent showing.
(Look, everyone! It’s Carlos Mencia! No, wait… you can actually hear Joe Rogan’s commentary on the night as well)
At this event, we sat next to a lovely woman of a matronly age sporting a strong Minny-sotan acccent who came to town for a tax conference and stuck around to see UFC 100 and any other MMA she could take in. (Showing the organization one would hope from a tax professional, she printed off the card from the Internet and marked each match’s results.)
(The ladies really are more friendly in Vegas, even the ring girls)
Behind us sat a group of Bahstonians of middle age, shouting technique advice to the amateurs in their distinct, forceful manner. To our left were two Mexican gentlemen with a young child who kept running up and down the aisle. To their left? An elderly East Asian fellow and his older Caucasian friend, chatting up a storm all night.
To the point: MMA’s fans are knowledgeable, passionate, and approaching diversification swiftly. The matches themselves showed their amateur moments, including a lack of defense and combos for most of the night.
(Wow, that dude’s popular. Wonder why?)
However, the trappings of MMA entertainment were present, giving everyone enough of what they came for, including this awesome kick in the main event that totally caved in the ribcage of this other girl and she got knocked back a foot and…
… okay, so it’s not table tennis yet.
(”I’m sure I dropped my contact over here. None of you see it? Really?”)