Invicta FC champ Michelle Waterson gives credit to walkout song for added inspiration

It was Michelle Waterson’s night at Invicta FC 5 as she would realize a dream in upsetting the now former Atomweight Champion Jessica Penne, securing the Invicta title.  The bout was the main event for the latest Invicta Fighting Championships event which took place Friday night at the Ameristar Hotel and Casino in Kansas City, MO.  Waterson would lock an armbar late in the fourth round to top Penne in a bout many believed was out of her league.  The “Karate Hottie” proved her critics wrong. But Waterson credits some added inspiration in her plight to top the mountain in that of a Customized Walkout Song made by fight music producer Mikey Rukus.

Rukus has made a name for himself in the MMA scene over the last couple of years, working with anyone and everyone in creating customized theme music and entrance music for companies and fighters all over the world to include fighters in Invicta and the UFC.  As a matter of fact, Mike actually had three different fighters who walked out to his music at Invicta FC 5, with Waterson being the top name in the main event.  “The process was super easy and fun! He just asked me a couple of questions about my personality and how I wanted to feel as I was coming out, and the rest was magic!  He was able to capture my thought and actually put them into a song!  I feel like each song is special for each fighter!” The newly crowned Invicta champ Waterson explains.

Apparently, Waterson and Rukus would come together thru email and text just 10 days before her fight. “I sent her an email asking her if she would be interested in having her very own walkout song, and she found the time to respond and thought it was a fantastic idea.  After we got the details squared away and we made sure her management was in the know, I got to work,” Rukus explains.  “I asked her to tell me what style she wanted, and what story she wanted to tell.  I asked her about some of the things that go through her mind as she passes the curtain to the platform, so she texted me a poem that she would always refer to leading up to her fight.  It was like a 15 page text message, and it was fantastic.  She gave me some great source material to write from and I understood her mindset because of it.”  The poem, “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson, holds words that fuel the passion within Waterson.

The fight music producer formulated parts of the poem into a customized track that not only had a universal up tempo feel, but connected personally with Waterson, giving her that extra push of adrenaline as she made her way to the cage.  He quickly put together a sample for her to listen to, to which she replied with “PERFECT”!  Rukus would complete the track over the next 24 hours, sent copies to Waterson, her manager Jahani Curl, as well as Invicta so it would be ready for her.  The song, “What I’m Called To Be” can be heard here:

Mikey Rukus’ client-based approach to creating music is a stark and refreshing contrast to other bands and artists who look to push their own music on fighters for no other gain than for the bands themselves.  Instead, music made by Mikey Rukus is customized for that fighter, as a director tells a composer what type of music score they look for in their film, so the fighters become directors of their own entrance music, essentially selling themselves as they make their way to the cage.  Mikey has created customized walkout tracks for UFC fighters such as Mark Hunt, Leonard Garcia, Colin Fletcher and is said to be working on music for Soa “The Hulk” Palelei’s UFC return.  Rukus is also rumored to be providing the music score to The Mark Hunt Documentary, which is currently in production.  For Invicta, Mikey has made several walkout songs for WMMA combatants to include Waterson, and Alexis Davis’ bout against Shayna Baszler at Invicta FC 4.  Coincidentally, Mikey is also the creator of the Invicta Fighting Championship Theme Song, which the promotion uses in their opening and closing montages.  The next goal that Mikey Rukus has been making known as of late is that he would like to implement Custom Walkout Songs as a stream of retail revenue for UFC stars, as well as making walkout music for the next UFC video game, to include additional content to be available for download throughout the life of the game.  Fighters or management companies looking to acquire the services of Mikey Rukus can contact him at  His complete client roster and body of work can be viewed and listened to here: You can also follow Mikey on Twitter at @MikeyRukus

(Photo Credit: Esther Lin / Invicta Fighting Championships)


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