Realistically, what is one to write about when the entire MMA world is shutdown? Here at MMAmania.com, we’re happy to share the latest Twitter Beefs and Instagram photo shoots, but the trash talk market is slow without any fights booked in the near future, and the scenery gets boring when no one is supposed to leave the house.
Luckily, we can still debate relatively pointless minutiae, like our personal favorite walkout songs, the ones that really introduce a fighter perfectly. Note that this is my list, and as such it will be filled with fighters and songs that I like. Think my list sucks? Perfect! Provide better examples in the comment section.
Let’s get to it (in random order):
1. Dan Henderson: Lunatic Fringe
About The Song: Red Rider’s “Lunatic Fringe” was released in 1981, reaching No. 11 on Billboard’s rock radio chart. Thematically, it was motivated by a resurgence of antisemitism and John Lennon’s assassination.
About The Man: Dan Henderson first cut his teeth as a Greco-Roman wrestler, twice representing America in the Olympics. He later became a true double-champ in Pride and fought for the UFC title on several occasions before retiring in 2016 after destroying champion and rival Mike Bisping’s face but losing the decision.
Why It Fits: “Lunatic Fringe” is THE song for old wrestlers, played heavily in the classic ‘80s wrestling film Vision Quest. “Hendo,” meanwhile, is perhaps the oldest wrestler to ever live. While in his mid-40s, Henderson awkwardly shuffled around the Octagon, trying to kill opponents with his massive right hand. His ability to wrestle may have been largely gone by that point, but “Hollywood” still embodied the crazy old wrestler mindset.
2. Urijah Faber: California Love
About The Song: 2Pac’s 1996 hit “California Love” came not long after his release from prison on the widely loved (his best?) album All Eyez On Me. It hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
About The Man: Faber is a pioneer for the lighter weight classes, a man who really helped grow World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) with his exciting title reign. He also fought for the UFC title on several occasions and founded Team Alpha Male.
Why It Fits: Faber’s brand is California ... and it’s authentic. “The California Kid” walks out to “California Love” and now has an adorable daughter named Cali. The 40-year-old may “dress like a 50-year-old skateboarder” per Conor McGregor, but it works for him!
3. Darren Till: Sweet Caroline
About The Song: Neil Diamond! “Sweet Caroline” hit No.4 on Billboard Hot 100’s chart back in 1969 and has since been added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry of “significant” songs.
About The Man: Former Welterweight title challenger Till is now one of the top contenders for the Middleweight belt.
Why It Fits: Darren Till is a lad. The 26-year-old Brit is always up to hijinks, like stealing taxis or drunkenly messaging other fighters. Walking out to a rousing drinking sing-a-long is plenty appropriate.
4. Chan Sung Jung: Zombie
About The Song: A No. 1 hit all over the world, The Cranberries penned this track as a protest song after an IRA bombing.
About The Man: “The Korean Zombie” fought Jose Aldo for the title years ago, and he’s actively looking to earn another title shot at this very moment.
Why It Fits: Jung lives up to his “Zombie” moniker in every fight, and there just so happens to be a wonderfully catchy song that repeats the word “Zombie” in the chorus. Perfection!
5. Andre Fili: Feelin’ Myself
About The Song: Bay Area rap legend Mac Dre dropped perhaps his best known song in 2004 on his third studio album, Ronald Dregan: Dreganomics
About The Man: A UFC veteran since 2013, Fili has broken into the rankings on several occasions and finished 12 of his 20 professional victories.
Why It Fits: “Feelin’ Myself” is a song that represents the northern California hip hop, a scene Fili himself is rather involved in. It’s also about the pride and bravado that comes with being a bad mother*fucker — “Touchy” has that charisma in spades.
6. Frankie Edgar: Kick in the Door
About The Song: A diss track aimed at other New York rappers, The Notorious B.I.G. claimed his status as a rap king even after his murder on 1997’s Life After Death.
About The Man: Frankie Edgar captured the Lightweight title back in 2010 and has been a top contender for pretty much the entire previous decade.
Why It Fits: East Coast baby! Edgar is a proud representative of the North Jersey/NYC MMA scene, and there’s something special about the aggressive, fast-paced beat alongside Edgar’s frantic sprint to the cage.
7. Wanderlei Silva: Sandstorm
About The Song: Darude’s 1999 single “Sandstorm” has proven immortal, enduring thanks to its popularity in sports and internet culture.
About The Man: Wanderlei Silva lived up to his “Axe Murderer” nickname in PRIDE, savaging opponents with a nearly unmatched level of violence while capturing the Middleweight title.
Why It Fits: It’s hard to think of either “Sandstorm” or Silva without thinking of PRIDE. Together, they’re a perfect representative of the defunct promotion, a strange blast from the past that will hopefully live forever (aka PRIDE NEVER DIE!).
8. Joseph Benavidez: Stranglehold
About The Song: Before Ted Nugent became known for being an insane person, “Strangehold” made its mark as the opening track on his 1975 self-titled debut with its monstrous guitar solo.
About The Man: Joseph Benavidez is perhaps the greatest fighter yet to win a world title, a top contender for over a decade.
Why It Fits: Some of Benavidez’s biggest wins came via submission (all strangulation), and he once made Tim Elliott tap with his feet to the “Joa Constrictor.”
9. Matt Hughes: A Country Boy Can Survive
About The Song: Hank Williams Jr. hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart back in 1982 with this single.
About The Man: A UFC Hall of Famer, Hughes won the Welterweight title twice and defended it a total of seven times.
Why It Fits: I just don’t feel like it can get any more self-explanatory. Hughes used to train on his farm while beating up title challengers. He also survived getting hit by a train. That’s the stuff of legend!
10. Jose Aldo: Run This Town
About The Song: A two-time Grammy winner, “Run This Town” seems like it is THE song for movie/video game trailers since its release.
About The Man: The greatest Featherweight of all time, Aldo first captured the WEC belt back in 2009 and defended it (also as the UFC title) until 2015. Aldo will fight for Bantamweight gold at UFC 250!
Why It Fits: This one is all circumstantial: Aldo walked out to fight Faber in Sacramento and Mark Hominick in Canada with a supreme confidence, a guarantee that he would leave their cities still as king. “Scarface” lived up to it!
There you have it, a list of some of my favorite walkout song and fighter combinations. Post your own below!