UFC Fans Pack Pitstop Pub to Watch First Female Fight

There is no doubt about the increasing popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship series, in which fighters go all out in mixed martial arts competition. In many ways, it really is the ultimate athletic showdown.

But a sport that traditionally has showcased male fighters has added a new dimension. And if the crowd at Pitstop Pub in Menifee this weekend was any indication, female bouts in the UFC will be an incredible draw.

There was a packed house at Pitstop Saturday night for the first-ever female UFC fight -- a confrontation between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic as it watched a series of male fights leading up to the main event, in which Rousey defeated Carmouche in the first round with her signature "armbar" hold.

UFC fans had differing opinions of the significance of Saturday's historic fight, but there was no denying the appeal it had for all the patrons. Virtually all eyes were on the nearly 20 big screen TVs showing the fight, and the bar did a brisk business.

"It was a great headliner," Lisa Germo said about the main event of UFC 157. "I was excited to see a championship fight for the chicks.

"It's just sad they can't throw some jello or oil out there," she said with a laugh.

There certainly was no humorous element the likes of female mud wrestling and other "novelty" competitions seen over the years. This was fighting to the finish, and the fans took notice.

"I like to see how their training and hard preparation pays off," said bar patron Sean Mack. "I love that women's MMA is now looked at as an equally professional sport."

Another Pitstop Pub patron, Dave Beal, had special interest in the undercard fight between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Michida -- a fight won by Michida. Beal said he used to train with Henderson, who trained in Temecula. He also watched with interest the female fight, although he said he had reservations about whether it should've been billed as the main event.

"I don't think the women have earned main event status," he said. "I'm glad for them, but they still need to work hard. They are talented, but they don't have enough experience. I want to watch and see how they develop in UFC."

One couple, who did not give their names, came to Pitstop Pub on a blind date. The woman said they had no idea the UFC fight was being shown.

"We came in for pizza and karaoke," she said, "but we're glad to see a packed house and watch a chick fight."

Kristen Spoon reported on this event and Doug Spoon provided writing and editing support.




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