Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 | 12:28 p.m.
The UFC ended the year with a bang, though the walk-in music seemed more of a whimper. Many fighters walked out to overused songs by AC/DC, Drake and Kid Rock, but there were a couple of surprises.
Alistair Overeem should have walked out to Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” as his performance turned out to be a career-ender for opponent Brock Lesnar.
Overeem instead opted for an instrumental house music song. It was a little difficult to make out but it was probably his standard music which is a remix of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” called the “Sensation White Anthem 2004” from a Netherlands trance festival. It was an upbeat and uplifting song that Overeem smiled to all the way in as he entered the octagon for the first time. Hopefully the DJ at his afterparty at Surrender Nightclub kept the trance music going for the victor.
Lesnar kept to his farm boy roots and walked out to “Nickel Sized Hail” by Sunny Ledfurd. The solemn country tune sounds like a storm is coming in, fitting for the entrance of such an imposing fighter. Lyrics like, “We blew out the lights/ kicked the windows in… They all run and take cover like a big storm’s coming in,” were certainly fitting for the 265-pound giant but Overeem was able to weather the storm well and come out on top.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone came out to his namesake song, “Cowboy” by Kid Rock. The boisterous rock song got the crowd involved and behind the fighter, whose trademark cowboy hat was knocked off by opponent Nate Diaz at the weigh-ins, has become a UFC fan favorite. Lyrics like “No kidding, gun slinging, spurs hitting the floor,” certainly set the tone for a serious, no-nonsense fight and Cerrone stuck to his plan as much as he could. The first round didn’t work out for the cowboy but he kept it competitive throughout the exciting fight that ended in a decision victory for his opponent.
Nate Diaz, brother of the more controversial fighter Nick Diaz, kept with the family reputation and opted for “Real Bay Boyz” by rapper 2Pac. The lyrics ,“Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do?/ Whatcha gonna do when we comin’ at you?” open the song and set the tone for the taunting Diaz would later do in between blows to Cerrone on his way to a win.
Ross Pearson got the crown going with the popular club anthem “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida. Lyrics like, “Sometimes I get a good feeling,” certainly put the fighter’s head in the right place on his trip down the tunnel to do battle in the octagon. Despite a slow start, Pearson’s positive energy complimented his persistence and he emerged victorious over Junior Assuncao.
Johny Hendricks and John Fitch had the battle of the country walk-in songs. Hendricks entered to Bleu Edmondson’s “50 Dollars And A Flask of Crown.” The rowdy anthem declares, “I stand for passion and I stand my ground/ Ain’t nothing gonna hold me down.” It turned out Hendricks could leave the flask and cash at home, all he needed was 12 seconds to put away Fitch with his very first strike.
Jon Fitch entered to Soundgarden’s ”Rusty Cage“ covered by Johnny Cash. Fitch didn’t have time to break his “rusty cage and run” as the fight pretty much ended before it began.
Rick Ross has become a popular artist for UFC walk-in music this year. Manvel Gamburyan chose his song “MC Hammer.” The rather explicit rap boasts of the singer’s accomplishments and possessions and touts, “I’m just advising, my profit is rising.” After this fight, that may not be so true. Though Gamburyan looked solid in the second round, his minimal offense wasn’t enough to defeat opponent Diego Nunes.
Nunes also came down the tunnel to a rap song, “Blessed Man” by Braille. In contrast to the Rick Ross rap, this spiritual tune discusses the singer’s blessings. Lyrics like, “And when they ask who I am, I will stand up and say I’m a blessed man,” certainly rang true for Nunes following his victory and served as an uplifting thought for the fighter going into the new year.