The blueprint for this top ten is the Genki Sudo walkout in which he did the robot with a KFC bucket on his head. The goal is to follow this model to create interesting and innovative ideas for a fighter to connect with the fans and garner their support.
Having the fans behind a fighter helps the combatant in many ways: the judges are influenced by the cheers, referees might be less likely to deduct points from a popular fighter and referees might make decisions to restart a fight for lack of action in favour of the crowd favourite. One's longevity with an organization is always enhanced by having loyal supporters.
The typical hype songs such as: "Eye of the Tiger", "Thunderstruck", "Gonna Fly Now" etc. are amazing but have been done. This collection presented to you strives to be more original and be of the ironic, fresh, anti-machismo mold. The goal is to counter the traditional entrance in order to entertain. I hope you enjoy.
If you want the crowd to cheer for you, connect with them. Give them a reason to like you. The characters from the world's kindest street are iconic and beloved worldwide; who doesn't love them? Picture this, the fighter and each of his team walk out with a mask of a Sesame Street character. Big Bird and Elmo will always have people rooting for them. Once the people succumb to incredulous disbelief, they would quickly find a bemused smile as an imitation Big Bird bloodies some poor soul while Elmo cackles from the sidelines.
This song can make anyone happy with its energetic and feel-good mood. "Safety Dance" defies the cliche angry fighter persona and depicts a calm, affable and confident athlete. A competitor hopping and skipping down the aisle—as the pint-size jester does—would amuse and delight even the most hardened tattooed fan.
There's also a delightful irony in a professional fighter playing a song with the word "safety" in the title before he starts acting in a wholly unsafe manor.
Indiana Jones is the quintessential action hero. A combatant strutting down through the core of an arena with the leather jacket, satchel, and legendary hat would scream out a promise of an exciting encounter. Through the process of osmosis, the charisma of the greatest archeologist of all time would be passed on to the fighter thus making him irresistible to those in attendance. Despite the fact that Dr. Jones steals artifacts from places of immense historical and cultural value, there is something inherent in all of us that makes us want to cheer for 'Indi. A fighter would benefit greatly by using this sentimentality to their advantage. If you could watch a real life Indiana Jones fight, would you cheer your heart out for him?
He is possibly the greatest anti-heroe of all time. One has to root for Napolean. A fighter coming into the fight arena with the big wig, "Vote For Pedro" shirt and doing the legendary skit-dance would thrill audiences. The cornermen would also have their Rex Kwan Do outfits. How many fans would not love to see Napolean do battle? Nobody would want to miss it, nor would they want to see him lose. They would do everything in their supportive power to cheer him on to victory!
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Depp, Dennis Rodman, Martin Lawrence and many others have dressed up like women to win over audiences. Any fighter who has enough self-confidence to do so would be in an excellent mindset as they prepare to fight, for brimming with self-belief and a relaxed attitude is the way to compete. John Cena, in a terrible WWE movie, suggested to his younger brother that he weigh-in naked to show all the other wrestlers he had the self-assurance and confidence to do so. One willing to dance down to the fight in a Lauper wig and accessories to please the audience would surely ingratiate themselves to the crowd. And it is an awesome song!
"Sabotage" would fall in the category of the more traditional walkout songs designed to create rage and hype, with its high energy beat and antagonistic lyrics. In this scenario, it would be done as a tribute to the late great Adam Yauch (R.I.P.). The New York Mets honoured the Beastie Boy during a game by playing a Beastie Boy song for all of the Mets as they walked up to bat.
This was both touching and classy. A fighter, who was a fan of the group, could pay homage to the genre-melding artist by wearing an attire designed to reflect the MCA persona.
When J.T. and the boys come at you, they come at you hard! They are not going to back down from a fight and they will call you out directly. If you wanna rumble with the lads, they are ready to scrap as their lyrics clearly state: "I'm doing this tonight. You're probably gonna start a fight." And they are going say "bye, bye, bye" to you! That is a dramatic way to preface a mercin'! Fans will feed off the swagger emanating from such a bold entrance.
This has been done before but deserves an honourable mention: Pat Beatars's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot!" The lyrics say it all: "Hit me with your best shot!" and "Put up your dukes!" Dem's fightin' words fella! LOL Not only would the threat of being another notch on someone's lipstick case intimidate but being labelled a "real tough cookie" would serve as a dramatic harbinger of impending danger. If Mirko can enter with Duran Duran in all seriousness, one would win the respect of the pundits by using this style of self-mockery.
This faux-bravado would amuse crowds as much as the drama of a Diego Sanchez walkout—just from the opposite spectrum. The current King of Walkouts, Tom Lawlor, deserves immense credit for doing NKOTB's "Hanging Tough" in full garb and with a headset mic. That surpassed the goal of this entrance and is an all-time classic.
The fighter and his team feign jogging tiredly in their white running gear and with headbands. For some reason, this song just lends itself to satire. The mock overly dramatic inspirational tune would be appreciated for its obvious irony.
Here are some suggestions that are contingent on the location of the event. The fighter needs to allure the local gentry to their side by expressing a cherished aspect of their base.
For the Beantown faithful, it would be wicked retahdid to see an athlete coming out to the theme song from "Cheers"!
When in Los Angeles, the theme song to "Beverly Hills Cop" would bring back a melancholic joy. In Milwaukee, the locals would be serenaded to the theme from "Laverne and Shirley".
Jim Miller deserves credit for walking out to The Soprano's theme song when he fought in his home state of New Jersey.
For shows in Hawaii, or anywhere for that matter, stepping out into public with the theme song from "Magnum P.I." would be electric. Donning a Tigers cap and a bright print shirt with cool shades circuit the 80's would make a positive impact on the audience.
Kenny Florian wore a Bruins jersey on his walkout when he fought in Vancouver while the Bruins defeated the Canucks for the Stanley Cup. That did not win him the crowd that night, but his opponent Diego Nunes, who wore a Canucks sweater, was staunchly supported. Recognizing a place's unique specialties helps establish a memorable rapport with the audience.
This song sold quite a few albums and received more than its fair share of air time. It can transcend demographic paradigms and reach the heart of fight fans...well, in an ironic manner. In accompanying the legendary song, the fighter can dress as Jack; he could even wear a "Heart of the Ocean" replica (the priceless original was preposterously thrown into the ocean) diamond necklace.
Juxtaposing the mood this songs creates with the occasion would most certainly amuse. I believe fans would credit the athlete for their originality, and at the very least, crack a smile following a bemused look of confusion.
Either way, it would catch the exposed tongues and hands frantically waving "hang-tens" off guard. The fighter would forge a place within the hearts of those wearing flame-skull t-shirts and last in their memory forever.
For fighters who are vehemently despised, I suggest they embrace their heel role and use it to connect with the audience. I remember when Rocky Maivia first joined the WWF. He was a good guy, yet people chanted for him to die. Then he became "The Rock" and told the fans he didn't care about them, and his popularity soared. He was respected for his honestly and ability to be himself. Without that public confrontation that recognized his disdain for their support we would never have been graced with screen epics such as The Tooth Fairy.
You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cant fool all the people all the time. Fans can spot a phony, hence the Jon Jones situation where one of the greatest athletes in the world was greatly maligned for the perceived belief that he was insincere and in-genuine. Athletes who do not have winning personalities should embrace it and be honest with the people paying great sums to see them work.
For example, Josh Koscheck could come out to Dennis Leary's "I'm an Ass****". This would let the people know he recognizes that they dislike him and that he takes it with a grain of salt.
For Chael Sonnen, Carly Simon's "You're so Vain" would admit to the people he is manically delusional and he embraces his own insanity.
For shorter fighters (Demetrious Johnson) or really tall fighters (Stefan Struve) they could introduce themselves to the crowd with Skee-Lo's "I Wish".
The fight game is a spectator sport designed for entertainment purposes. It’s a shame that Tom Lawlor is one of the very few that actively seeks to engage the crowd. Lawlor does a great job with the weigh-ins, but overall, there is a lot of opportunity for growth in this area. Fans want to be involved and wish to cheer for someone with whom they have an affinity, so athletes should help engender this support.
People can appreciate someone that has the ability to break stereotypes and poke fun at oneself. These suggested entrances would amuse the fans and change the dynamic of the event to allow fans to laugh and enjoy themselves on a different level. These songs are not about the banal cliched in-your-face, aggro, alpha male scenarios fight fans have seen for decades; they are in the spirit of enhancing the fight experience for all.
Watch the video to feel the goosebumps from when Ontario's Mark Hominick walked out to "I'm Coming Home" in Toronto. The fans felt it and poured their hearts and souls out for him. No doubt, his ability to connect with them created a symbiotic energy that gave him the will to provide one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport.