For the first time in years, you will not be greeted by this man -- The Gladiator Man -- for tomorrow night's (Sat., Feb. 4, 2012) UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Just days ago it was revealed by UFC President Dana White that the infamous Gladiator Man who introduced fans to each UFC show was released from his Zuffa contract.
You ain't gotta go home but you gotta get up out of here.
In his stead, the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion brought in the big guns. Indeed, the one and only Hans Zimmer -- who was the brains behind the scores heard in movies like The Dark Knight and Inception -- was brought in to compose the new 60-second opening.
Entitled "Evolution," the new intro took an unbelievable six months to create and cost and arm and a leg. MMAFighting.com has a few of the finer details on what we can expect to lead us into tomorrow night's (Sat., Feb. 4, 2012) UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" pay-per-view event:
The new PPV open, which is called "Evolution" and has a much different look and feel than the old Gladiator one, is a nod to the UFC's almost 19-year history. It kicks off in a simple dojo as Royce Gracie is tapping out Ken Shamrock at UFC 1 and gradually progresses through the greatest moments in UFC history until we find ourselves inside the Rogers Centre with 55,000 fans. In total, 18 different iconic UFC fights are featured, and the UFC made a point to highlight all seven current champs. There are no plans of changing the open in the near future because as White put it, "when we signed this deal with FOX, these are the guys, almost in chronological order who have helped us get here."
The reason why the new open, which White said cost "an obscene amount of money," didn't premiere prior to 2012's first pay-per-view, UFC 142, was because the UFC forgot to include former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin in the piece, and according to White, "it cost us a (expletive) load of money and a bunch of time to fix it because there was no way I was going to air this thing without Franklin being in there too."
As if you needed any more reason to get hyped for the show tomorrow night.
As the MMA Fighting report notes, the UFC attempted to catch up with the actor who played the Gladiator Man to give him a proper sendoff but were unable to locate him.
What a shame.
Below is a list of the fights set to be featured in the new UFC show open:
Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock -- UFC 1
Tito Ortiz vs. Evan Tanner -- UFC 30
Matt Hughes -- Frank Trigg -- UFC 52
Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz -- UFC 47
BJ Penn vs. Sean Sherk -- UFC 84
Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes -- UFC 65
Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia -- UFC 68
Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva -- UFC 92
Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring -- UFC 87
Rich Franklin vs. Nate Quarry -- UFC 56
Junior dos Santos vs. Gilbert Yvel -- UFC 108
Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson -- UFC on VS 6
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar -- TUF 1 Finale
Cain Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar -- UFC 121
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard -- UFC 125
Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick -- UFC 129
Jon Jones vs. Stephan Bonnar -- UFC 94
Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort -- UFC 126
Everyone ready to see this thing already or what?