It’s another double-header UFC weekend, with UFC 206 following UFC Fight Night 102. Unlike with the Fight Night card, though, there are more than few people needing walkout consultation. Whether fighters are walking out to over-used or just plain generic songs, helping them will require back-up. For that, I have brought in fellow MMASucka.com scribe and TuffGnarl.com Editor-in-Chief Jesse Scheckner. Since I’ve brought in some help, today’s article will have a different format. While we will still list what each fighter walked out to previously, Jesse and I will each suggest a new song. So, without further ado, here we go.
What he last walked out to: “Summer Sixteen” – Drake
What Justin thinks he should walk out to next: “Neck Brace” – Excision feat. Messinian
What Jesse thinks he should walk out to next: “Can I Kick It” – A Tribe Called Quest
Justin: While Jesse summarizes many of the lyrical issues surrounding Drake‘s “Summer Sixteen,” I’m going to focus mostly on the light-weight backing. It’s a track that lacks true musical impact, which dare I say, is a common theme when discussing the work of Drizzy. That said, Anthony Pettis is a fighter who is known to bring the hurt to your body, not your feelings. That’s why a song like Excision’s “Neck Brace” would fit him so perfectly. After all, the song is about doing exactly that: Putting a beatdown on somebody so bad they’re going to need a neck brace. Listen below.
Jesse: Drake’s “Summer Sixteen” operates largely as a dis track, which is great in terms of rap feuds or in encapsulating the attitudes of verbally bellicose fighers. But it doesn’t really capture how most people feel about the former lightwieght champion, Tony P, whose promotional efforts outside of the cage largely amount to standing still enough for the General Mills-hired photographer to snap your picture. For those associated with his violent work, Pettis’s pugilism relies on flow, and there are nary a more flow-worthy rap troup than the perennially smooth A Tribe Called Quest, whose “Can I Kick It” offers a tongue-in-cheek reference to Mr. P’s most infamous in-cage move. Listen below.
What he last walked out to: “State of Mind” – Dizzy Wright
What Justin thinks he should walk out to next: “Fire Your Guns” – AC/DC
What Jesse thinks he should walk out to next: “Mama Said Knock You Out” – LL Cool J
Justin: That Dizzy Wright song just wasn’t a good fit for Jordan “Young Guns” Mein. It didn’t capture his natural propensity for in-cage violence for connect with his personal brand. Now, referencing the nickname, AC/DC‘s “Fire Your Guns” is a deeper cut banger that’s sure to catch people’s ear and create an association between itself and Jordan. Listen below.
Jesse: Is it cliche? Sure, but when you come out of retirement, you need to offer some sort of explanation. While “I’m gonna knock you out” falls short of explaining your reasoning for returning to combat, telling those dubious of your return to cage fighting that it’s hardly a “comeback,” because you’ve “been here for years,” works. It argues your case, stating that you aren’t fighting because you need to, but because your stake in the game was never properly dismissed. Listen below.
What he last walked out to: “Sucker for Pain” – L’il Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, & Imagine Dragons feat. Ty Dolla $ign, & X Ambassadors
What Justin thinks he should walk out to next: “Serial Killer” – Chrome Division
What Jesse thinks he should walk out to next: “Man the Change” – Hot Water Music
Justin: Despite the music in the trailers, lets not kid ourselves and pretend that any of the original music from the Suicide Squad soundtrack was objectively good. That includes this song. Featuring noted mush-mouth and auto-tuner extraordinaire L’il Wayne alongside the perma-stoned Wiz Khalifa and world electro-popsters Imagine Dragons, Ty Dolla $ign, and hipster faves X Ambassadors, it’s exactly the kind of mess you’d expect with such large number of artists. It’s also lacking in any real dynamics. Now, since Cub Swanson is a “Killer,” why not go with a song that acknowledges how many nights he’s killed for so many fighters? Chrome Division‘s “Serial Killer” would do just that. Listen below.
Jesse: Close to 272 million views and God knows how many listens on various music platforms suggests this is a song that will resonate with audiences. That said, I’d like to offer an odd alternative: “Man the Change” by Hot Water Music. This song, by one of the greatest post-hardcore bands of the late ’90s/early ’00s, encapsulates the same themes expressed by Wayne and co., but at a much more specialized level. And let’s face it: the HWM song sounds way more freaking bad-ass. Listen below.
What he last walked out to: “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
What Justin thinks he should walk out to next: “Head Crusher” – Megadeth
What Jesse thinks he should walk out to next: “New Nosie” – Refused
Justin: Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” isn’t a bad song, really. It’s just over-used. So, best to switch up to something more identifiable. That song would be Megadeth’s “Head Crusher. It’s really the perfect song for a fighter who has crushed another man’s jaw in the cage. The song gains bonus points for a video made during the band’s brief alignment with Affliction MMA and featuring what appears to be a young Michelle Waterson. Listen below.
Jesse: “Eye of the Tiger” infers certain auditory aesthetic preferences, and far be it from me to deny a fighter his or her tastes in terms of that. The driving, muted guitar work that makes “Eye of the Tiger” work so well is also present in Refused’s “New Noise.” The difference, of course, is that one of the two songs (“Eye of the Tiger”) is so played out that it’s become cliche. The other (“New Noise”) is far from obscure, but still odd enough to solicit genuine and enthusiastic surprise from those hearing it for the first time. Listen below.
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