The 10 Worst Signature Walkout Songs in the UFC Right Now
We knew this day would come.
A couple of weeks ago, we recorded the 10 best signature walkout songs in the UFC today. Those were halcyon days. There was joy and there was fun. It was a season in the sun, for real. Never take anything away from that moment nor allow anyone else to do the same. We will always have those songs and that time in our lives.
But we cannot tarry in such a patch of noonday warmth. You know it as well as I. It is a fleeting thing, that patch and surrounded on all sides by darkness. To stop there forever would be to fail to see the world as it really is.
That is why we now must stand, stride forward and expose the corruption. These are the 10 worst signature entrance songs in the UFC right now. Sadly, this list was far more challenging than its more benevolent twin. Why? Because there's a lot of crap out there, bro.
All right, the criteria. First, active UFC fighters only. Second, all entrance songs must be closely associated with one fighter. No generic or overused tunes will be considered, no matter how bad they might be (Eminen's "Not Afraid" and every single AC/DC song can breathe a sigh of relief now). These can't be one-offs, such as Julio Paulino's use of "The Climb" or Carlos Newton's use of "Bootylicious," though I certainly appreciate and respect the suckitude those tracks bring to the table. The use must be sustained.
Third and finally, as it was in the first list, so shall it be in the second. My personal likes and dislikes are less important than how objectively bad the song is. And with that in mind, if you personally like a song on this list, I want you to feel bad about yourself. I don't mean to cast aspersions on you personally. It's just that you have very bad taste in music. You have a problem. Get help.
10. Isaac Vallie-Flagg, 'Can't Hold Us' by Macklemore
You know when someone says something like "that's a tough song for a tough guy"? That's not going to apply here.
Isaac Vallie-Flagg holds up his end of the bargain with one of the most rugged beards in the lightweight division. Following his loss to Takanori Gomi at UFC 172, he took home Fight of the Night honors.
But I'm afraid his entrance song stood idly by as that happened. Well-coiffed as he is, Macklemore chose to pursue hip-hop without paying a lot of homage (or attention) to those who paved the way. And that shows in every song he performs.
It's also not the world's scariest walkout song, no matter what side of this raging Macklemore debate you find yourself on.
9. Roy Nelson, 'We Will Rock You' by Queen
I like Roy Nelson as much as anybody, but his taste in entrance music sucks like God's own Dyson.
His earliest UFC standard, "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Fat," was slightly redeeming because it was funny (Nelson is overweight, you see). But it was still a, you know, comedy song. I'd like to think I have a pretty sizable funny bone, but I'm not trying to listen to no comedy records before I watch a mixed martial arts fight.
But then he has to go with "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen, perhaps the worst hit of the Boss' career and a shameless grab by Nelson for arena support when facing a foreigner on American soil (he first used it in 2012 in Las Vegas when he was fighting Brazilian Fabricio Werdum).
Apparently, though, "Born in the USA" wasn't quite overplayed enough for Nelson. He needed a song that every living person in the Western Hemisphere has heard at least five times every month throughout the course of his or her lifetime.
He needed a song that had been beaten into the ground, and then the ground was tilled up, gasoline was added and the pile was burned. Then the ashen remains were blended with vegetable shortening to create a dough from which was formed a sort of crude modeling clay, which was then used to build a clay pigeon, which was then fired at a range and blasted to fragments with a 12-gauge shotgun.
So when he learned "We Will Rock You" was available, he simply had to jump at the opportunity. It's so nice when life makes the decisions for you.
8. Lyoto Machida, 'Bleed It Out' by Linkin Park
Maybe you wouldn't look at Lyoto Machida and figure him for a nu-metal fan. Of course, you probably also wouldn't figure him for a urine drinker, either. There are so many surprises for us, here in this life of ours.
Though he hasn't used it in a while (and is far from the only one to walk out to Linkin Park), Machida is still strongly associated with this tune. On one level, I guess I get it. There's "bleed" in the title and talk of catharsis and such, and you get that stuff in fighting. I just think there are more elegant and exciting ways of saying all that. I don't know, maybe that's just me.
7. Stefan Struve, 'Written in the Stars' by Tinie Tempah Feat. Eric Turner
This is lazy walkout-song selecting at its finest.
Oh, Stefan Struve thinks something is destined? Perhaps his own greatness? Hey, so do I! No...no, don't trouble me with the details like "the song doesn't really have a beat" or things like that. Just sign me up.
6. Stephen Thompson, 'Wonderboy' by Tenacious D
Please refer to selection No. 9 for the baseline opinions about comedy songs and MMA and the prospect of their mixing.
It doesn't work. Yes, I know that the song is called "Wonderboy" and that Stephen Thompson's nickname is also "Wonderboy." I don't care if the song is called "My Name Is Stephen Thompson."
If anything, the correlation just makes a corny event even cornier. And that's saying something when your entrance-song singer is Jack Black.
5. Jake Ellenberger, 'Gangsta's Paradise' by Coolio
Everyone's favorite rapping arthropod scored a huge hit with "Gangsta's Paradise." I was always more of a "Fantastic Voyage" man myself, but to each his own. I'm just going to take really deep issue with what Jake Ellenberger is doing here, that's all.
Thing is, either way, that was 19 years ago. I enjoy a great deal of old- and older-school hip-hop. I truly do. That gives me the kind of confidence I need to say that this one isn't exactly the gem of the wine cellar. Coolio has since drifted down into reality-TV purgatory, while the song itself has been reduced to a punch line.
There's also the small difficulty of reconciling the song with the fighter using it. No, entrance songs don't need to be perfect reflections of a fighter's life, but there has to be some kind of overlap for the song to work. Ellenberger grew up as a middle-class resident of Omaha, Nebraska, an area that is not, to my knowledge, a gangster's paradise.
It's like this was Ellenberger's favorite song in sixth grade, and he just never bothered to buy another cassette. Perhaps he could try a song from his hometown brethren, 311, instead? Never mind, don't do that, either.
4. Dennis Siver, 'Last Resort' by Papa Roach
Perhaps the worst hit of the nu-metal era.
Do you get pumped when the singer says he wants to cut his life into pieces and then launches into that pitiful Zack de la Rocha impression, interrupted only by that chorus that makes everyone feel itchy on his sofa cushions?
If so, now is the time to make a change. I won't tell anybody we talked. Just go. Come back when you've burned all your Fred Durst posters.
3. Chael Sonnen, 'Too Much Fun' by Daryle Singletary
I don't mind a little country music. But this is not good.
Here's the only way I'd ever consider it good: if I were a manufacturer of cheap socks, not inexpensive socks, but cheaply made ones—socks so cheap that the toes ripped open in under a fortnight and the elastic gave out before the end of their first rodeo.
If I wanted to sell some really cheap socks and wanted to convince people they wanted the socks without lying to them about the quality of the product they were buying, I'd put this song in my commercials.
Since Chael Sonnen doesn't make or sell socks, to my knowledge, I'm afraid this doesn't work. Sonnen is a smart guy, actually. He could do so much better. He could make Tom Lawlor look like a poor man's Tom Lawlor. This is a call to arms, Chael. Do something before it's too late.
2. Tim Boetsch, 'American Badass' by Kid Rock
Very few people do anything as amazingly as Kid Rock makes bad music.
Whether it's the campfire-chant rock-rap like this, the cut-and-paste faux-roots rock or his current country stylings, there's no escaping it. Kid Rock is terrible, and he casts a pall over pop music.
It's not like Papa Roach fans, who I feel are just misguided. Kid Rock fans are too far past the point of reason. The best we can all do is keep our distance and keep our ears plugged when we hear the first strains of Metallica's "Sad But True"—a sampling master stroke on its own—as Tim Boetsch begins to make his way to the cage.
Dishonorable mention here goes to Donald Cerrone's use of "Cowboy." He is no less culpable than Boetsch, but I just disliked "American Badass" a hair more and frankly didn't have the stomach to write two separate slides about Kid Rock.
1. Wanderlei Silva, 'Sandstorm' by Darude
OK, OK. Sit down. Let's talk.
I know you like Wanderlei Silva. I know you were there on the ground floor. You were there when it all started, with the stomping and kicking and sandstorming. Great times, right? I know. It probably felt like you were going to live forever.
But then you learned you weren't going to, were you? And no one else will, either. This song, like Silva himself, never learned that. Maybe it has that in common with Silva. Ever think of that? Further, did you ever think they weren't actually as great then as we thought they were.
Hey, hey! Relax, pal. Sit back down.
This song was popular in, like, 1999. It was played at raves. People would dance to this song with pacifiers in their mouths or while wearing gas masks. I was there, man; I saw this with my own two eyes.
And just to be clear, those were adults wearing pacifiers, not young children, and there were no apparent chemical weapons threats at these events. They wore the gas masks as a fashion statement. The masks were worn not because of a safety issue, in other words, but because of a style issue.
These are the kinds of people we're dealing with. These are the kinds of people who like "Sandstorm." If you want to like it, go ahead. I understand. But it's time to stop pretending that this is an objectively good song.
Need a hug? Bring it in. There, there. We're going to get through this. A better you starts today, son.
No. Thank you!
Scott Harris stands ready to help all those in need of a richer, better-informed entrance-music life. All names can be kept strictly confidential. To learn more, follow Scott on Twitter.