What'cha gonna do brother when Lawlormania runs wild on you?
Having read Bleacher Report’s very own Scott Harris’ article on UFC Entrance Songs, I felt compelled to consider the all-important walkout tune from an alternative perspective, alluded to by Scott in his piece.
Weird Al Yankovic’s "Fat" (as utilised by Roy Nelson at UFC 117) featured at No. 38 in Scott Harris’ subjective chart, but perhaps most tellingly was Harris’ placement of Rick Derringer’s “Real American,” as employed by serial jokester Tom Lawlor at UFC 105. Indeed, this anthem was positioned at the summit of the list, topping (perhaps controversially for some) classics such as Randy’s selection of “Lunatic Fringe” or Hughes’ theme tune “Country Boy.”
However, given my warped sense of humour, I am inclined to concur with Harris. Indeed, as asserted by the writer himself, “First, sports is supposed to be fun. Attending and watching sporting events is supposed to be a fun thing. And this entrance song is about as fun as you can get.”
By paying homage to wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, Lawlor is overtly showcasing various redeeming personality traits that can only serve to further ingratiate him to an already-adoring fanbase (whilst for unpopular fighters, it may help them win over previously fervent disbelievers or vocal critics).
1. Sense of Self
The walkout song represents a veritable opportunity to imprint your personality on the MMA canvas, enabling fighters to exhibit their characters and afford the fans further insight into who they are and what they stand for, as fighters, general sportsmen, entertainers and human beings outside of the cage.
2. Sense of Humour
A slight contradiction given the context, after all there isn’t much funny about entering the Octagon to engage in a gruelling battle.
Invaluable for fighters who like to demonstrate that they are humble human beings outside of being posited on a pedestal as combat sport luminaries.
Paradoxically, those fighters that are both able and willing to ostensibly poke fun at themselves in front of masses of onlookers are invariably the ones who possess the most confidence, as opposed to the fighters that construct a façade of arrogance, and who inevitably hide behind their self-proclaimed swagger.
It’s probably easy for fighters to ignore and deny the MMA community’s perceptions of them, but a much more effective ruse is to collaborate with these views (outright misconception, pure speculation or otherwise) and thereby play to the crowd and prospectively diffuse the situation. To confront one’s reputation head-on is an effective therapeutic process.
In the sense that the fighter has purposefully pinpointed a track that he believes will entertain the crowd before the fight even begins. This is particularly pertinent during an era in which there is excessive pressure heaped on fighters to secure the “W,” wherein the entertainment factor of the sport is often neglected.
Some fighters would certainly overlook the above advice, deeming it more important to fully focus on fighting rather than such trivialities as song selection. Also, in fairness to certain fighters, they may prefer to opt for a song based on the message of impending doom it conveys to their adversary (bearing in mind that fighting is psychological, as well as physical, warfare), and also because a specific fighter may only be motivated by a single musical genre, which subsequently places him in the right frame of mind for combat. However, it’s irrefutable that a humorous entrance song contributes to endearing the crowd in your favour, and concomitantly unnerving one’s opponent.
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