Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 | 2:05 p.m.
Updated Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 | 2:42 p.m.
Las Vegas local Phil Baroni put a little Vegas style into his entrance to open the main card of UFC 106. Wearing a sleeveless red satin robe with flashy gold trim, Baroni looked more like he had stepped off the stage at a Strip production show rather than someone about to step into the Octagon. Regardless, the “New York Bad Ass” lived up to his song choice of George Thorogood’s classic song of confidence, “Bad to the Bone.” Baroni’s swagger and self-assurance were still no match for Ultimate Fighter winner Amir Sadollah who pulled out the unanimous decision victory.
Earlier in the evening, the thumping bass line of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” served as an appropriate pump up tune for George Sotiropoulos in his bout against Jason Dent. Sotiropoulos needed no such army, just two fists and some great jiu-jitsu skills, to take out Dent via armbar submission at the top of the second round.
Johnny Cash seems to make an appearance on the UFC airwaves at least every other fightcard. This time around, Brock Larson chose “Sixteen Tons,” one of the lesser-utilized Cash songs, for his UFC walk-in music. With lyrics like, “If you see me comin', better step aside/A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died,” coupled with the gravely voice of Cash, the song really delivers a message. Unfortunately, it was opponent Brian Foster’s gloves that were filled with 16 tons and Larson succumbed halfway through the second round.
Anthony Johnson came out to Redman’s “Time 4 Sum Aksion,” indicating it might be time for some spelling lessons, but that’s beside the point. With a peppy backbeat similar to House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” fans couldn’t help but bob around to the rap song. From the opening line “Let’s get ready to rumble” to the closing “You ain’t gotta say no more, it’s over,” the song exuded confidence. The Johnson-Koscheck battle was indeed filled with “aksion” but it was Koscheck who emerged victorious. After lots of trash talking and boasting, Koscheck was finally able to ascend to the “Higher Ground” of his walk-in music from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, when he earned the win.
Johnson wasn’t the only fighter to walk out to a Redman tune. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira opted for the techno-infused Method Man and Redman song “Da Rockwilder.” Noguiera was indeed “armed with the mega bomb” as his song choice proclaimed when he landed a vicious left hook to defeat Luiz Cane via TKO in the very first round. Not bad for his UFC debut.
Former light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin abandoned his usual walk-in music, Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” in favor of something a lot more humorous. When the opening chants of “We’ll be singing…” rang out in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, the familiar ‘90s anthem “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba instantly brought a chuckle and a sing-a-long ensued.
The repetitive chorus of “I get knocked down/but I get up again” seemed a perfect battle cry for the fighter who succumbed to Anderson Silva at UFC 101. The result of that fight was a distant memory as the crowd sang along with Griffin’s walk-in song. The original Ultimate Fighter showed he could indeed get up again after several takedowns by Ortiz as he managed to turn the third round into a nearly solo slugfest and garner the victory in the fighters’ second matchup.