It’s been a busy 2013 in the MMA world, yet we were somehow left without a big fight night to watch on Saturday.
So, maybe some of you had the chance to catch up on some fighting under the Marquis of Queensbury rules — or, even enjoyed a special broadcast from Japan.
If you watched Showtime Championship Boxing Saturday night from Florida, or Japan Vale Tudo’s web broadcast of VTJ 3 from Tokyo, you definitely got to see some memorable action.
In Saturday’s brutal body-punching devastation of journeyman Delvin Rodriguez on Showtime, Miguel Cotto seem to turn back the clock — right back to his old Hall of Fame ways. Cotto, under his new trainer Freddie Roach, tore through Rodriguez as no one has. After the bout, Roach would say of the opposition, “line ‘em up.”
VTJ 3 was a solid show too, but it ended in a sad farewell to Megumi Fujii, the greatest female MMA fighter in history, after a ugly T/KO loss. The retirement bout for Fujii was ruined by fouls, and the finish would finally come due to injuries sustained by accidental eye pokes.
They were quite different, but both bouts had something in common.
In an unusual move, Cotto would make his entrance to the ring without music. The same went for Fujii –in the least, in the VTJ3 broadcast, which went silent, probably due to the powers-that-be not securing the rights to her theme.
In Cotto’s case it worked — he seemed like a throwback gladiator on Saturday: no frills, all focus.
Something seemed missing with Fujii’s though… something which we enjoyed with some of the greatest ringwalks in MMA history.
Everyone has a list of their favorites — so what’s yours?
Here’s my top three:
3) “Hawai’i 78″/”Crazy” (medley) BJ Penn (vs. Matt Hughes at UFC 63). Penn routinely gets his fans in a frenzy with the intro from Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Hawaii 78″ — a quiet, ominous chant, celebrating Hawai’i’s past, accompanied by ukelele. This night, the chant suddenly switched to Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” as Penn began his walk. The upbeat tune not only got everyone’s blood pumping, it reminded us what we love about Penn — he’s always ready to try do what we all regard “crazy.”
2) “A Country Boy Can Survive” Matt Hughes (various). Simply put, Hughes is the protagonist in Hank Williams Jr.’s ode to country life — and is just as passionate about his upbringing. Every time he walks to the cage, you’d hear it. Any time you’d hear this song elsewhere, you’d think Matt Hughes. That make it a perfect theme, every time he used it.
1)”Day Old Poi”/”We Will Rock You”/ “Chant of the Islands” (medley) Enson Inoue (vs. Randy Couture at Japan Vale Tudo 1998): This one has a bit more of a story.
Inoue was massive underdog against Couture when the two fought in Inoue’s adopted home back in 1998. Couture was still undefeated and had departed the UFC with the heavyweight title. Hawaii-born Inoue would use a medley of songs to herald his entrance: first, Hawaiian comedian Bula’ia’s parody of “Day-O,” “Day Old Poi,” rang out as his name was called, followed by “We Will Rock You” by Queen as he was elevated to the walkway, and finally “Chant of the Islands” by Fiji as Inoue slowly paced to the ring.
The songs echoed Inoue’s own journey from Hawaii to Japan, and served to set the mood in a way no one could imagine. A little smile, then an aggressive exchange, and finally, a well-thought-out armbar finish, would see Inoue take home the victory — and cement his place among early MMA legends.
It was a totally unique combination, and it worked.
So what are your favorite ringwalks of MMA history? Let us know in the comments.