Twentynine Palms -- As the main event begins, Gabriel Pena and Rudy Revillas closed the distance between them; the crowd gets louder, cheering on their favorite fighter of the match. As eyes focused on the octagon on Del Valle Field, fighters focused on one goal – victory.
Marine Corps Community Services hosted a Mixed Martial Arts Fight Night Live at Del Valle Field June 10, 2016. The event included nine amateur bouts and a special guest appearance by Forrest Griffin, Ultimate Fighting Championship hall of famer. During the fights, ring girls threw T-shirts out to the crowd and MCCS chose Marines via raffles to receive signed fighting gloves.
This was the third time MCCS has hosted fight night aboard the Combat Center.
“Our Marines and sailors are always hard at work and it is nice to give them a break to let them unwind and watch a good show,” said Brent Norquist, deputy assistant chief of staff, MCCS. “We know that Marines are always training for our nation’s next battles; to be able to put this event on for them is what is important.”
According to Norquist, the number of Marines, sailors, civilians and family members who attended this year’s event was much larger than last year, which added to the atmosphere of the fights. The fighters enjoyed the large crowd and the intense energy that lasted throughout the night.
“I’m glad to be able to give back to our service members, especially doing something I enjoy doing,” said Chris Elisarraras, an amateur fighter from Templeton, Calif. “This is my first fight after taking a break for a year and I am excited to get back in the ring and put on a show for these brave men and women.”
As the night came to an end, attendees emptied the stands, taking photos with their favorite fighters and talking about their favorite fights of the night. Some of the Marines on the way out thanked MCCS for putting on the show and filling their Friday night with excitement.
“It’s nice to have these events on base,” Pfc. Peter Piazza, student, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School. “Having an organization like MCCS, the fighters and everyone else here who supports us, it means a lot.”