The opening chords of Ronda Rousey’s walkout song help make her entrance one of the best in the sport.
Since her days as a Strikeforce fighter, Rousey’s walks to the cage have been attention-grabbers for fans at home and in the arena. At the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, Rousey put her Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight title on the line against top contender Sara McMann in the main event of UFC 170.
The most important element for any walkout music selection is the opening five seconds of the track. A perfect song has to grab observers by the face and make them pop out of their seats and take notice of who is walking into battle. Female punk rock icon Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” has locked Rousey into the hurt-my-opponent-badly zone for her last several MMA bouts. The fist-bump unity that Rousey and Jett share for a 2:48 cage walk makes for an unrivaled sports entertainment moment.
An underdog at the sports book and in the dramatic entrances department, McMann had to work behind the eight ball against an opponent much more famous than her. From a prelim fighter with just one UFC win under her belt to pay-per-view headliner, McMann answered her opponent’s punk rock preference with a hard rock track; it was a classic music counter move. In the biggest fight of her career, McMann was serenaded to the cage by Chicago heavy metal band Disturbed and “Indestructible.”
However, Rousey destroys the indestructible, and the kryptonite to any impenetrable defense is always the liver shot. Well-timed knees to the liver will always fold your opponent in half like an aluminum can. After an early flurry that saw both Rousey and McMann get in their licks, the champ backed the former Olympic wrestler into the fence. With her prey trapped, Rousey unleashed a flurry of elbow and knee strikes against McMann. The end came when Rousey popped McMann’s liver with an undetected knee. The blow dropped McMann to the mat, and three follow-up punches to the head from Rousey were enough for referee Herb Dean to call the fight in favor of the champion.
Off to a rebellious 9-0 start, Rousey’s “bad reputation” has produced nothing but good results for both her and the UFC.
Daniel Cormier and Lil Wayne are both from the great state of Louisiana, but Lil Wayne never had to cut weight for one his performances. After Cormier had already established himself as a UFC heavyweight contender, the co-main event of UFC 170 saw him make his debut at 205 pounds. Already 2-0 in the UFC, Cormier stuck with the same track he used for previous success. The dynamic duo of Lil Wayne and Drake’s “Right Above It” boosted Cormier to the cage.
With less than two weeks’ notice, relative unknown Patrick Cummins stepped in for the injured Rashad Evans to face Cormier. The step up in competition from regional fighters to a widely regarded top 10 foe may have given Cummins an impossible mission to accomplish. For the biggest walkout of his life, Cummins went for a roundabout 1980s action film reference in Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” The up-tempo R&B song may be best remembered from the 1987 film “Predator” during a scene in which Arnold Schwarzenegger leads a Special Forces team into South America by helicopter.
Proving he was a class above Cummins, Cormier dominated his opponent in less than 90 seconds. A pair of uppercuts dropped Cummins, and Cormier finished the job with hammerfists to the side of the head for the TKO win. Cormier is now a top light heavyweight title contender, and the American Kickboxing Academy product could walk himself into a shot at the gold by the end of 2014.
On the undercard of UFC 170, Alexis Davis continues to be the only UFC fighter to pair her brand of violence with the stylings of rising rock star Lorde. Davis revealed her love for the poppy finger snaps of Lorde’s “Royals” in her November win over Liz Carmouche. Other Lorde songs like “Tennis Court” and “Team” may provoke more far reaching vicious tendencies out of human beings, but Davis moved to 3-0 in the UFC after her win over Jessica Eye.
Flyweight Zach Makovsky did not have a mustache or aviator sunglasses at UFC 170, but he made his walkout more of a highway with his selection of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” off the 1986 Top Gun Soundtrack. In a dogfight, Makovsky stayed out of Joshua Sampo’s “hazard area” en route to a unanimous decision win.
UFC 170 Walkout SongsRonda Rousey: Joan Jett “Bad Reputation” Bad Reputation (1980)
Sara McMann: Disturbed “Indestructible” Indestructible (2008)
Daniel Cormier: Lil Wayne feat. Drake “Right Above It” I Am Not a Human Being (2010)
Patrick Cummins: Little Richard “Long Tall Sally” Here’s Little Richard (1957)
Rory MacDonald: Metallica “Seek and Destroy” Kill ’Em All (1983)
Demian Maia: Linkin Park “Numb” Meteora (2003)
Mike Pyle: Fort Minor “Remember the Name” The Rising Tide (2005)
T.J. Waldburger: AC/DC “T.N.T.” T.N.T. (1975)
Stephen Thompson: Tenacious D “Wonderboy” Tenacious D (2001)
Robert Whittaker: AC/DC “Hell’s Bells” Back in Black (1980)
Alexis Davis: Lorde “Royals” The Love Club EP (2013)
Raphael Assuncao: Lenny Kravitz “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over” Mama Said (1991)
Aljamain Sterling: King Troy “Bad Mamma Jamma” (2013)
Cody Gibson: Charlie Daniels “Renegade” Renegade (1991)
Zach Makovsky: Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” Top Gun Soundtrack (1986)
Erik Koch: Eminem “Survival” The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013)
Rafaello Oliveira: Diddy feat. Skylar Grey “Coming Home” Last Train to Paris (2010)
Ernest Chavez: DMX “We Right Here” The Great Depression (2001)
Yosdenis Cedeno: Gente De Zona “El Animal” Lo Mejor Que Suena Ahor (2011)
Tommy Messano is the editor-in-chief of ULTMMA.com. You can contact him on Twitter at @ULTMMA.