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UFC 143 walk-in music: Ghosts, transformations and a dash of “Tubthumping”

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Carlos Condit raises his arms after the fifth round of his welterweight title win over Nick Diaz at UFC 143 Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

UFC 143 proved to be about as controversial as they come and the music was equally interesting. With the obligatory, overplayed rap staples and a dash of classic rock, covers of classic rock and even a Portuguese pop hit, the playlist really covered the musical spectrum.

Chris Cope opted for a popular anthem to get the crowd going. Coming out to Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping” usually guarantees a chuckle and a sing-a-long but it also brought with it a thumping of the fist-to-face variety as Cope was knocked out by a strong right from Matt Brown in the second round.

Brown came out to a classic, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” by Southern rockers Molly Hatchet. The peppy, country-tinged tune sounds upbeat, though the lyrics aptly describe the uncertainty and challenges of a fight scenario. Fortunately for Brown, he averted disaster and actually achieved a victory over his opponent.

Alex Caceres walked out to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce. Cacares had some bad, bad luck when two of his strikes unintentionally struck opponent Edwin Figueroa in the groin, resulting in two points being deducted from Cacares’ score. The point deduction was enough to turn the tide of the fight and Figueroa was awarded a split decision victory.

Figueroa came out to “Return of the Tres” by Latin rappers Delinquent Habits. The song, partially in Spanish, definitely exudes toughness and a gangster vibe. One line, “Won’t take a fall/this here is winner take all,” speaks to the result of the fight. Though nobody wants to win (or lose) due to point deductions, the fact of the matter is, a fight left in the hands of the judges’ scorecards is never certain. The winner takes all, no matter how he gets the win.

Dustin Poirier walked down the tunnel to Gnarls Barkley’s “Transformer.” The slow acoustic guitar at the opening gains speed as Cee-Lo Green’s vocals crescendo with intense lyrics about self-transformation. With a string of victories, Poirier has transformed himself into a force to be reckoned with in the UFC. His armbar submission over Max Holloway earned him submission of the night honors.

In his inaugural UFC fight, Max Holloway came out to a solid choice: Kanye West’s “Stronger.” The lively rap gave an air of confidence, a wise choice to steady Holloway’s nerves in his first big fight. Hopefully what didn’t kill him will make him stronger and he can continue on with his professional MMA career after this initial loss.

Ed Herman entered to Stevie Ray Vaughn’s ”Life By The Drop.” The bluesy rock tune was a breath of fresh air next to the rap tracks many of the other fighters opted for. The reflective lyrics contemplate the way the singer’s life has gone thus far and seem fitting for an entry into the octagon. In the end, Herman got the drop on his opponent Clifford Starks when he sunk in a rear naked choke in the second round.

Starks came out to “My Time” by Fabolous. Despite a solid first round, Starks didn’t look so fabulous in the second round and he certainly couldn’t say it was his time for a victory as he succumbed to the tight grip of Herman.

Facing Brazilian opponent Fabricio Werdum, American fighter Roy Nelson opted for “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen. The upbeat anthem fit the bill and got the crowd cheering but the “Ultimate Fighter” alum couldn’t parlay that energy into a win. After getting a brutal cut in the first round, Nelson just didn’t have enough to stay competitive and he lost a unanimous decision to Werdum.

Werdum walked out to “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” by Brazilian singer Michel Telo. The popular Portuguese song showed the fighter’s national pride. Translated, the lyrics are about a Saturday night party and that is likely just what Werdum was looking forward to as he headed to his post-fight party at Tabu Ultralounge with a victory under his belt.

Nick Diaz walked out to his customary “Feiticeira” by Deftones. The intense rock song matched the darkness and intensity Diaz is known for. One line, “Soon this will all be over,” really stands out given the outcome of the fight. In a very controversial decision, Diaz lost the fight, thus giving up the interim welterweight belt, to opponent Carlos Condit. Whether or not his decision sticks, Diaz shocked the crowds with his comments about leaving the UFC following the fight so his time with the organization could very well be over.

Carlos Condit selected an unusual version of a classic with Rage Against The Machine’s cover of “The Ghost Of Tom Joad.” Especially if Diaz is serious and there is no rematch to settle the score, Condit may be haunted by the ghost of Nick Diaz for years to come as some fans and reporters doubt the validity of his win.

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