Fight Music: Mixed Martial Artists Talk About Their UFC 160 Entrance Songs

Dennis Bermudez, KJ Noons, and TJ Grant. Photos: Getty Images

Anyone who’s seen a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) walkout knows that “walk” is the wrong word to apply to the entrance ritual. “Strut,” “stalk,” “dance,” “bounce” or “stride” would all be much better ways to describe the ways in which fighters move down the aisle towards the octagon.

The music that fighters choose varies as much as the physicality of their entrance. From rap tunes that have relate-able stories to metal and hip hop songs that are near battle cries, moods are set, crowds are hyped and a visceral sport becomes spectacular entertainment.

While there are rules governing the fights — everything from length of round, type of mouth guard and the combat itself — there’s very few regulations about walkout music. What inspires the sounds that fighters pick? Hive spoke with six fighters — five fighting in Saturday’s UFC 160 and one from UFC 161 — who shared their thoughts about walk outs, work outs and the music they play-to win.

Mark Hunt. Photo: markhuntofficial.com

Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt
Walkout Song: Public Enemy, “Welcome to the Terrordome”

Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt was, literally, sitting on his butt, soles of his feet together and knees akimbo, when Hive reached him on Skype. He was in New Zealand, waiting for a visa mishap to resolve, so he could get to Vegas for the fight. Walkout music, while important, was not at the top of his list of concerns.

“I use all sorts of different music…it depends on where I’m at,” he said. Hunt bases his walkout choice on “What I’m feeling good with … how I’m feeling over the training, what I like listening to in the car at the time.” Right now, Hunt is listening to Eminem and “jammin’” Public Enemy, one of his favorite bands. “I like listening to [“Welcome to the Terrordome”], things like that.” But, he rattles off several other bands ranging from Metallica to Billy Idol as options for training, something that puts him “right into the grind.”
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He’s been playing Gospel music while cruising in the car. “I’ve been lately listening to a lot of church.” It keeps him calm, he says, as do smoother songs. “One of my favorite kinds of music is slow jams, you know, I like listening to Guy.”

TJ Grant. Photo: Getty Images

TJ Grant
Walkout Song: Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again”

TJ Grant was not even born when White Snake first released “Here I go Again” in 1982, but, “I’m undefeated with White Snake,” he said. So, “of course”, he said, it’s his walkout. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?”

He decided on the song after seeing boxer Micky Ward walk out to it in 2002. Then the movie Old School “really brought it back … but I’ve always liked it.” Unlike many fighters, Grant doesn’t listen to music when he runs. “I’m just kinda too lazy to go and buy the thing to strap my iPod to my arm,” he said, laughing.

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