As a mixed martial arts fan, I have seen a countless number of entrances over the years. A fighter’s entrance can sometimes tell us what mindset they are in before the fight stars.
Some fighters have picked music that they relate to, whether it is because it’s a song that they worked out to in a gym or because it is a song that speaks who they are – such as Matt Hughes walking out to Hank Williams Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” or Tito Ortiz coming out to Eminem’s “Cinderella Man.”
There are some fighters who come out to hard rock or rap, while others come out to country music or classic rock.
So without further adieu, here are some of my favorite entrances
1. Wanderlei Silva – Pride Final Conflict 2003
One thing Pride was known for were its unique fighter entrances that featured a grand stage, lighting and the screaming ring announcer Lenne Hardt, in addition to the fighter’s music.
Put this together with the roaring crowd of the Tokyo Dome and the streams of water that shot out from the stage made Silva walking out to a of a remix of Darude’s “Sandstorm” and this would go down as one of Silva’s iconic Pride entrances.
2. Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira – UFC 81
Making his second trip in the octagon to face Tim Sylvia for the UFC Interim Heavyweight title, Minotauro Nogueria walking out to Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” gave an eerie feeling in the first few riffs from Keith Richards, yet the energy began to build as Mick Jagger and Merry Clayton begin to sing.
One small thing that adds to the entrance is Nogueira enters the octagon just as guitar solo begins. The music fades just as Clayton is about to begin her solo.
3. Junior Dos Santos – UFC 103
I have seen fans and critics both share their disdain and admiration for fighters who come out to music associated with the “Rocky” movie franchise and yet Dos Santos walking out to Bill Conti’s “Gonny Fly Now” can get any crowd excited the moment the song begins, whether it is he is fighting in Brazil or the United States.
The song also fits Dos Santos, who is mainly known for his boxing inside of the octagon.
4. Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller – Dream 9
Miller is known for having a wild personality and it reflects in his entrances. At Dream 9, he was accompanied by a group Japanese schoolgirls as Hardt announced his name.
The fun didn’t stop there as the schoolgirls were in sync with Miller and followed him as he made his way to the ring. The only thing that makes this entrance funnier – and a little bit creepy -, is commentator Michael Schiavello’s comments about the Japanese schoolgirls.
5. Rich Franklin– UFC 103
For much of his career in the UFC, Franklin has come out to AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock We Salute You.” Like “Gimme Shelter”, it’s an iconic rock song that not only be eerie, but also get the crowd going before the fight starts. Like Franklin, the beginning of the song is a bit calm.
The only thing that would be missing from this entrance is the cannon fire.
Other entrances that I like
“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung – UFC 140
Whether this was suggested by the UFC or he made the decision to use it on his own, Jung walking out to “Zombie” by The Cranberres is a perfect fit for the man who is known to the fighting world as The Korean Zombie.
Mark Hominick – UFC 129
Although some fighters have used Diddy- Dirty Money’s “Coming Home,” Hominick’s use of this song before his title fight against UFC Featherweight champ Jose Aldo seemed fitting at the time. Hominick, who is from London, Ontario, Canada, was competitng in the biggest match of his career in front of his fellow countrymen.
Tito Ortiz – UFC 133
Coming out to “Cinderella Man” seemed to apply to Ortiz, who was coming off of a big win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132 and was on the verge of a rebirth. Although Ortiz’s career didn’t have the ending of a Cinderella story, at the time he came out to this song he was focused and ready to climb back to the top of the light heavyweight division.
Genki Sudo – K-1 PREMIUM 2003 Dynamite!!
Known as a fighter for having the best entrances in all of mixed martial arts, Sudo’s entrance for his match against Eric “Butterbean” Esch was a homage to the “Major League” films where he dressed up like the character Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn and even came out to the song “Wild Thing” while being accompanied by Japanese cheerleaders.
Have a favorite MMA entrance? Let me know by answering in the comment box or sending a tweet to @alstover with hashtag #RantMMAEntrance
My favorite MMA entrances