One of the only places bad MMA judging cannot cause mass controversy is during the walkout.
Twenty years worth of UFC entrance songs cumulated at UFC 167 in Las Vegas; nobody rocked out to The Who’s “Baba O'Riley,” but 24 fighters walked to the cage and looked to set the tone with their selection of entrance music.
In his 9th consecutive UFC welterweight title defense, Georges St. Pierre went with a track he has never used before. So in phase with his dancehall love, St. Pierre picked the 2001 Reggae cult classic “Man Ah Bad Man” by Jamaican group T.O.K. to be the soundtrack for his UFC 167 scrap.
If Johny Hendricks was president of the UFC, perhaps he’d change how promotions work with state athletic commissions to train judges or maybe he’d come up with the greatest pay-per-view marking gimmick ever: “50 Dollars and a Flask of Crown” can be exchanged for the Oklahoman’s next pay to view fist fight. For now and for his last handful of UFC fights, Hendricks has walked to the cage with the upbeat country sing-along by Bleu Edmondson.
MMA judges have to get paid more than a 50 spot and some Canadian whisky? In a highly debatable verdict St. Pierre retained his welterweight title via spilt decision. Hendricks worked a technical game plan of heavy power punches, well-timed knees from the clinch and a happy-go-lucky country song that put him in the mood to become champion. A disappointed Hendricks post-fight could possibly sum up his feeling on MMA judging in just four words “Man Ah Bad Man.”
Known as an “Ultimate Fighter” winner and former UFC light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans is also famous for his impeccable taste in hip-hop walkout music. Straying away from his KRS-One and Mobb Deep comfort zone, Evans, in need of a victory, went with the overlooked 1997 jam “Victory” by Puff Daddy and the late Notorious B.I.G.
American gangster Chael Sonnen is loyal to Georgia country singer Daryle Singletary. The bad guy was graced to the cage once again by what is fast becoming Sonnen’s signature track. A two minute diddy of a country song, “Too Much Fun” is not enough fun to break Sonnen from his in-cage game face.
With his first stoppage win in four fights, Evans may go back to the 1990s hip-hop well again for his next fight. The 34-year-old Evans cut past all of Sonnen’s defense on the ground and battered him for a first round win. Evans needed 4:05 for the win; less than the 4:56 duration of his song selection.
What can you say about Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald choice of get-hyped music? Though with his selection of “Beautiful,” Lawler did conquer a widely-held MMA urban legend of losing fights when you draft Eminem to be your walkout co-pilot.
On the undercard Erik Perez and Jason High each stood out for two very different types of head-nodding entrance music. Perez blasted the horns of Ranchera music legend Vicente Fernandez on his way to a decision win. For his second straight UFC win, High strolled out to critically acclaimed hip-hop duo Killer Mike and El-P’s “Run the Jewels” of the 2013 summer album of the same name.
UFC 167 Walkout Songs:Georges St. Pierre: T.O.K. feat. Bounty Killer “Man Ah Bad Man” My Crew My Dawgs (2001)
Johny Hendricks: Bleu Edmondson “50 Dollars and a Flask of Crown” Southland (2008)
Rashad Evans: Puff Daddy feat. Notorious B.I.G “Victory” No Way Out (1997)
Chael Sonnen: Daryle Singletary “Too Much Fun” Daryle Singletary (1995)
Robbie Lawler: Eminem “Beautiful” Relapse (2009)
Rory MacDonald: Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris “We Found Love” Talk That Talk (2011)
Tyron Woodley: Thi’sl feat. Flame “I Ain’t Turning Back” Chronicles of An X-Hustler (2009)
Josh Koscheck: Red Hot Chili Peppers “Higher Ground” Mother’s Milk (1989)
Tim Elliott: Wayne Garner Band “110% Full Throttle” Senorita Dreams (2013)
Donald Cerrone: Kid Rock “Cowboy” Devil Without a Cause (1999)
Evan Dunham: Red Hot Chili Peppers “Can’t Stop” By the Way (2002)
Thales Leites: Bob Marley & The Wailers “Three Little Birds” Exodus (1977)
Ed Herman: Survior “Eye of the Tiger” Eye of the Tiger (1982)
Rick Story: AC/DC "Back in Black" Back in Black (1980)
Brian Ebersole: Bliss N Eso "Reflections" Running on Air (2010)
Erik Perez: Vicente Fernandez "Soy De Abajo" A Tu Salud (1976)
Edwin Figueroa: Delinquent Habits "Return of the Tres" Merry Go Round (2000)
Jason High: Killer Mike and El-P “Run the Jewels” Run the Jewels (2013)
Anthony Lapsley: Rich Homie Quan "Type of Way" Still Goin In (2012)
Sergio Pettis: DJ Drama "My Moment" Quality Street Music (2012)
Will Campuzano: Kavinsky feat. Lovefoxxx “Nightcall” Drive Soundtrack (2011)
Gian Villante: Johnny Cash “God's Gonna Cut You Down" American V: A Hundred Highways (2006)
Cody Donovan: Dropkick Murphys “Worker's Song" Blackout (2003)
Tommy Messano is the editor-in-chief of ULTMMA.com. You can contact him on Twitter at @ULTMMA.