Stripper Cage Fighting at Cheetahs

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"So, did you ever think you'd see so much of Mickey Rourke's bare ass?"

"No, I didn't even look. I was too busy trying to see Lisa Bonet's boobies."

I'm discussing the sex scene in the 1987 movie Angel Heart with Bootstrap, my girlfriend of more than two years. Obviously, we didn't see enough of Bonet's boobies in the movie, because now we're on our way to see stripper cage fighting at Cheetahs. Neither one of us frequents strip clubs (we're more the house party, punk/metal show, or goth club night-types), but we're looking forward to what we think will be some cutesy-poo cat fights with girls ripping off each others' clothes.

What we actually saw was an ass avalanche, followed by a total kick-ass throw-down fueled by a club full of screaming patrons, about a quarter of which was female.

Cheetahs has been hosting "Stripper Fight League" every Tuesday for the past eight months. A few other strip clubs have recently started hosting weekly cage fights, but Cheetahs was the first, and it's still the most popular.

Until last night, Bootstrap and I had never been to Cheetahs, which is on Seventh Street just north of Indian School Road. It's next to a Jack in the Box and right across from the VA Hospital, and we'd joked that we'd probably see a bunch of old men there. But when we walked in around 10:30, the club was packed mostly with 20- and 30-somethings of all sorts, from stocky men in football jerseys to skinny tattooed guys. There were also several women (either with dudes or in she-packs), and a guy wearing a shiny silver motorcycle helmet. In the club.

The fight cage was about the size of an above-ground swimming pool. We were seated right next to it, but the cage fights didn't start until almost 90 minutes after we arrived. In the meantime, we were treated to diverse mix of dancers furiously jiggling their butt cheeks to hip-hop tunes by everybody from Eminem to Pitbull. One dancer got on all fours, straddled the pole between her buttocks, and then slapped both sides of the pole with cheeky aplomb.

Bootstap leaned over and asked, "Do you think I could learn how to shake my butt like that?"

"Sure, it's all in how you flex your glutteous maximus muscles," I replied, as if I knew what the hell I was talking about.

By the time the first stripper cage fight starts, Bootstrap and I have both seen so many shaking butt cheeks that we have ass-seizure fatigue. But the fight was an unexpected reprieve from gratuitous T&A.

The combatants, two dancers named Hazel and Erica, both donned boxing gloves and protective head gear for the bout. When the DJ announced the start of the fight, they flew at each other like a couple of grizzly prize fighters, swinging fists, knees, and elbows. There was no hair pulling or scratching -- just straight-up scrapping, headlocks and all.

After three two-minute rounds, Hazel's decided the winner by audience cheers. Both women were standing in a pool of crumpled dollar bills, amounting to probably about $50, which they split between them.

There were two more cage fights before the end of the night. Cheetahs was insanely packed by the end of it all, and there wasn't an empty seat in the place. As we left for the night, Bootstrap suggested we go back sometime, maybe for a stag or bachelorette party.

I'm thinking we should just go back for the punchy, cheeky fun of it.

"Stripper Fight League" takes place every Tuesday night at Cheetahs, 4125 N. Seventh Street. For more information, visit www.cheetahsaz.com or call 602-265-8487.

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