Nothing gets a fighter and his fans more revved up more than walking down to the cage with music blaring over the arena’s speakers. The UFC’s fighter walk-ins are legendary in the MMA game. Fighters.com has put together a list of the top walk-ins of all time in the UFC.
“The California Kid” from Sacramento knows how to fire up a crowd, dancing his way to the cage accompanied by 2Pac’s California Love, making sure to lovingly acknowledge his mom while waving to the camera. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that this battle-ready bantamweight has an irresistible, surfer-like charm as he rides a wave of good vibrations toward the Octogon.
Although Griffin is perhaps better known for is hasty Octagon exits than his entrances ”“ occasionally dashing out of the cage before a fight result is officially announced ”“ he never fails to pump up a crowd with his pre-fight marches accompanied by the Dropkick Murphys’ hooligan fight anthem “I’m Shipping Out to Boston.”
Although the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has retired from the cagefighting world , he will be remembered as one of the pioneers of the sport, and one of the first to realize the importance of a great entrance for building his mystique and personal brand. Both inside the Octagon and en route to it, Ortiz was one of the all-time greats.
“The Iceman” lived up to his moniker with his stone-faced charges toward the Octagon, particularly when accompanied by Slayer’s thrash-metal war cry Raining Blood (a fitting title, given what happened to many of his rivals inside the cage). Liddell’s career was marred by a number of vicious knockouts late in his run that sent him into retirement, but he remains one of the most revered and recognized figures in the sport.
We’re not sure what’s better about Shogun’s marches toward the Octagon: the cold intensity on his face, or the sight of his brother absolutely hollering encouragement directly into his ear every step of the way. We can only assume that his brother is shouting things like “destroy him,” since that’s what Shogun has made a habit of doing to light-heavyweights for the last half-dozen years.
To the twangy strains of Hank Williams Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive,” Hughes practically moseys to the Octagon, as if on his way to the barn to slaughter a prize pig. Commentator Joe Rogan once called Hughes’ entrance music his “Favorite walk-out song in all the UFC.” The unhurried, deliberate pacing of the song ”“ and of Hughes’ entrance ”“ is perfectly offset by the fierceness of his work in the cage.
When “Bones” Jones glides to the Octagon to the sounds of 50 Cent’s “God Gave Me Style,” arms raised as if already the victor, he oozes confidence. Although he hasn’t done himself many favors lately by turning down fights with smaller combatants, he continues to dominate the MMA world, establishing himself as one of the all-time greats.
This top-ranked Mexican heavyweight’s heritage is in full force when he walks out to the cage, the festive sounds of mariachi music blaring over the loudspeakers. It makes one yearn for a stiff shot of tequila, and apparently makes Velasquez yearn for a stiff shot at his opponent’s chin. Watch the video and you will understand.
Calm. Cool. Collected. Even grinning. In keeping with his nickname, Silva moves like a spider stalking his prey. The accompaniment of DMX’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” is the icing on the cake.
The self-appointed fattest guy in the UFC, Roy “Big Country” Nelson has won over fans with his bowlful-of-jelly belly and matching Santa Claus beard. . Fittingly, Nelson has stampeded his way to the Octagon with Weird Al Yankovic’s “I’m Fat” blaring over the loudspeakers. Although UFC President has been openly critical of the unabashedly tubby Nelson, the heavyweight has proven enduringly popular with fight fans.
Guida is thoroughly entertaining — if not borderline crazy. He doesn’t walk to the cage so much as bounce to it. His frenetic, crowd-pleasing entrances are perfectly capped off by the sight of his brother Jason smacking him in the face prior to entering the cage. The Guida clan is quite possibly the most intense family in MMA.
Lesnar has gone back to the the realm of “sports entertainment,” and that too bad for MMA fans. He was highly entertaining and you never knew if he was going to run someone over, or do a cartwheel mid-fight and get knocked out. Stomping toward the Octagon to the sounds of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” was UFC honcho Dana White’s idea at first, but apparently it grew on Lesnar, since he used it throughout his UFC tenure.
The ominously nicknamed “Axe Murderer” is one of the most famous elder statesmen in the fight game today. He approaches the Octagon accompanied by the high-energy song “Sandstorm” by DJ Darude, which perfectly conveys the energy poised to burst from his fists. A quick cage-side prayer is the only break in the intensity of his entrance.
Fighting in front of 50,000 people in your home province was something special for Ontario-born Mark Hominick, as he faced off at UFC 129 in Toronto’s Rogers Centre against the best fighter in his weight class, Jose Aldo. He walked out to P. Diddy’s “Coming Home,” sending the Canadian crowd into a frenzy (watch the video and you’ll hear someone say it’s “the perfect song” for the occasion).
Hominick’s heroic showing (he soldiered on despite a repulsively large goose-egg on his noggin) solidified him as a fan favorite. Even though Aldo scored the victory, Hominick was the people’s champion of the night.