Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 | 1:01 p.m.
Anderson Silva once again proved there “Ain’t no Sunshine” for any of his opponents, or even a glimmer of light at all when their eyes roll back in their heads.
Coming off of a Round 5 submission win over Chael Sonnen and a decision victory over Demian Maia before that, the middleweight champ returned to his exciting and explosive style with a decisive Knockout of the Night victory over Vitor Belfort.
Coming down the tunnel, along with actor Steven Segal, to his standard ”Ain’t No Sunshine” by DMX, Silva sang along to the bluesy tune.
The song took on a new meaning this time around as Silva put away Belfort, an opponent the handicappers actually acknowledged had a decent chance to dethrone the champ. DMX’s lyrics, “Preacher said ‘You was brave’/ But now it's all over/ You just one of the many, plenty I done gave it to” matched Silva’s visible respect for his opponent but still acknowledged his dominance and rightfully earned confidence as he continued his winning streak.
In his first UFC appearance since the WEC merger, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone went with the obvious choice of “Cowboy” by Kid Rock.
The boisterous rap pumped up the crowd and went along with his Tapout cowboy hat. The lyrics were perfect for a Vegas fight as Kid Rock describes his West Coast dreams of partying in California, with all those same vices carrying over to Sin City. Only Cerrone wasn’t focused on the after party and got right down to business in the octagon against Paul Kelly, taking Fight of the Night honors with his rear-naked choke victory.
Another impressive victory was paired with one of the most unusual walk in songs of the night. Kyle Kingsbury walked out to “Playing with the Boys” by Kenny Loggins, an artist not usually heard in UFC arenas. The upbeat ‘80s anthem was an amusing choice that likely left a few fans scratching their heads, while smiling nevertheless.
The tune actually does seem fitting for MMA with lyrics like, “Bodies working overtime/ Man against man/ And all that ever matters/ Is baby who's ahead in the game” and “In this kind of game/ Someone gets hurt.” True, someone always gets hurt, but this time it wasn’t Kingsbury as he gained a TKO victory from punches a mere 21 seconds into his fight against Ricardo Romero.
Like Cerrone and Kingsbury, Carlos Rocha went with another fun song “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. Who doesn’t love (or at least love to hate) that song? The iconic intro and sing-along quality put all the attention on Rocha who looked very impressive in his split decision loss to Jake Ellenberger, who walked out to Seether’s catchy rock tune “Back to the Remedy.”
With a song he often chooses, UFC veteran Rich Franklin walked out to AC/DC’s well known “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).” If you’ve ever seen one of their live shows, you know the band Godsmack would agree that this is the perfect intro music to get you pumped up.
The song’s lyrics ordered opponent Forrest Griffin to, “Stand up and be counted/ For what you are about to receive” — what Franklin only hoped would be a loss. Unfortunately for him, Griffin emerged victorious in a unanimous decision.
Griffin entered to his standard "I’m Shipping up to Boston" by Dropkick Murphys and though he didn’t dropkick his opponent as impressively as Anderson Silva did in the main event, Griffin had clearly shaken the ring rust since his shoulder injury and looked like his old self again.
Ryan “Darth” Bader dropped the amusingly obvious Star Wars entrance music he usually opts for and chose Ozzy Osbourne’s “I Don’t Wanna Stop” instead. Unfortunately for the previously unbeaten fighter, he did stop, tapping to the guillotine choke of Jon Jones.
The powerful drumming at the start followed by intense guitars made a definite statement as the Ultimate Fighter season 8 champ confidently walked out to face the biggest challenge of his career.
The lyrics “All fired up, I'm gonna go till I drop/You're either in or in the way” reflected the thoughts that must have been going through the minds of both Bader and Jones, knowing each was the other’s biggest obstacle to a title shot. UFC president Dana White confirmed after Bader’s loss that this fight was indeed the number one contender fight and the victor will meet Shogun Rua for a title bout at UFC 128.
Jon Jones kept with the theme of his Philippians 4:13 chest tattoo and selected a rap with religious overtones. Opting for 50 Cent’s “God Gave Me Style,” Jones set a peaceful tone for his march down the tunnel.
With confident lyrics and a beat that makes listeners want to slowly bob their heads along, this was a fitting choice for the fighter who was quick to thank God after his victory over Bader. Lyrics like, “God make me shine like the sun/ Sometimes I feel like I'm the one” were quietly confident and did not come across as boastful even though Jones is clearly one of the fastest rising stars in the UFC and everyone knows he is “the one” to watch this year.