It is now the month of October, known as the time for Halloween. Halloween is known for several different spectacles including dressing up, scaring people, looking like people have horrible injuries, and overall celebration. For October, I will be doing a series of top 10s based on the theme of Halloween.
For this first top 10, I will be covering the MMA spectacle of fighter’s ring entrances. Though more akin to prowrestling, they are still fun to watch and have a tendency to get people amped up in their own way for a fight. Just to clarify, the more of a spectacle and showy the fighter is while coming out to the fight, the higher they will be on this list. Also because there are so many of these fighters, here are the honorable mentions:
~ Honorable Mentions ~
Chris Weidman-simply makes it on this list by coming out to “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty for his first match against Anderson Silva.
Roy Nelson-makes it on this list for coming out to Weird Al Yankovic’s spoof “Fat” on several occasions which matches his body type.
Wanderlei Silva-on this list because in every match in recent history he’s come out to the pumping music of Darude’s trance song “Sandstorm.”
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson-comes out to every one of his fights with a chain around his neck and howling to whatever music he comes out to.
Frank Shamrock-came out to his title defense against Cung Le basically wearing a San Jose Sharks hockey suit with his belt in hand.
Heath Herring-known as the “Texas Crazy Horse” Herring came into several of his fights in cowboy attire, including most of his UFC fights.
Kendall Grove-has come into several of his fights wearing an asylum mask and a straight jacket to give himself more of a crazy look.
Carlos Newton-came into his UFC 34 title defense against Matt Hughes with a model on his arm and a big party getup with his teammates.
Akihito Tanaka-came into his Dynamite!!! 2008 fight with Bob Sapp wearing a whole suit of manga/anime character Kinnikuman (muscleman).
Joe Son-walked into several of his fights in Japan wearing nothing but a leopard print thong and yelling with a microphone in his hand.
Now for the actual countdown:
~ 10 ~
Royce Gracie is without a doubt one of the most influential fighters in MMA, bringing BJJ to the mainstream, and becoming a precursor to the modern fighter. In addition to being one of the first UFC stars, he also had one of the first memorable ring entrances. When he was announced, Royce came in on what was essentially a Gracie train with him being in the middle. The purpose of the train was to represent the energy shared between the Gracie family and also representing the Gracie family as one. Apparently it worked out because Royce won the UFC 1.
~ 9 ~
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou sprung onto the MMA scene in 2007 in Pride by pulling an upset win against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (aka Little Nog). Coming from Cameroon, he of course has a natural tendency to grow dread locks in his hair. In fact his dreads are what put him on this list because of a few memorable ring entrances. In a few of his UFC fights, Sokoudjou has come into his fights wearing a Predator mask. His build and dreads actually made him look like the menacing science fiction hunter.
~ 8 ~
Tom “Kong” Watson
After establishing himself in several different British promotions and the Canadian promotion Maximum Fighting Championships, Tom “Kong” Watson made his way into the UFC where he currently fights. Regardless of which promotion he competes in though, he has a walkout that isn’t easily forgotten. Every time he walks out, Watson walks out with a gorilla mask on his face. This has essentially helped him earn the nickname Kong. He also goes out dancing to whatever song he walks out to.
~ 7 ~
An early pioneer in the early UFC tournaments, Kimo Leopaldo (or Kimo as he is commonly known) is most known for his debuting walkout at the UFC 3 tournament. Being a devout Christian, Kimo requested to walk out with a full sized cross. The UFC denied his request, but allowed him to bring in a box of “practice equipment” into the locker room. Then when Kimo walked out, he was carrying the full sized cross. Turns out he’d smuggled the cross in the box with his warm up equipment.
~ 6 ~
Bob “The Beast” Sapp
Bob “The Beast” Sapp’s best days in combat sports may be behind him but that doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have one of the more memorable and comedic ring entrances. Sapp normally comes into every fight with the same song 2001 Space Odyssey. Also he comes in every time with a fur jacket of sorts. To top it off he looks like he’s getting hyped up during most of the song and then at the highlight he throws off the jacket and spreads his arms in the air. The routine is so comedic that K-1 opponent Akebono Taro actually laughed at the event, then got knocked out.
~ 5 ~
Tom Lawlor had a one time entertaining ring entrance. Being teammates with UFC vet Seth Petruzelli and both of them being a little on the nutty side, they decided to do something crazy. First is that Lawlor came out to Who Let the Dogs Out. Then the second crazy part was appropriate with the song. Petruzelli came out on all fours with a dog collar and leash on and a dog bone in his mouth, the leash held by Lawlor.
~ 4 ~
Jason “Mayhem” Miller
Jason “Mayhem” Miller is just one of those fighters that likes to have fun. He also has a tendency to be a little on the crazy and goofy side. Because of this he likes to come out to his fights having fun. In order to do that he’s come out to several fights with rather spectacular ring entrances. These normally involve lots of girls dancing around with pom poms and Miller himself dancing around with them.
~ 3 ~
David “The Caveman” Rickels
Bellator fighter David Rickels takes his nickname “Caveman” seriously. Every fight he comes out to he has some getup related to a caveman. One of the more spectacular entrances included walking out with a mechanical dinosaur walking next to him. That is not something people see everyday. In his title fight against Champion Michael Chandler, Rickels came out with a giant bam bam stick and some caveman like music.
~ 2 ~
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in his early career came out to some spectacular ring entrances. He went off of a statement of how if he came out to a certain attitude he would become king. “King Mo” would come out with dancers, his own song, and a crown with a king’s coat. That was in Japan. Later on in Strikeforce he also came out with a girl who carried an umbrella and flower petals being tossed in front of his feet.
~ 1 ~
Out of all of the fighters on this list, Genki Sudo is the most elaborate when it comes to his ring entrances. Never did he come out to something where his entrance wasn’t spectacular. In addition he came out every time to something different. He always believed that having fun in fighting was a good thing to do and because of that he took it to heart and used it in every single match. We don’t see his spectacular ring entrances anymore because of his retirement in 2006 but man are they something to watch!
Think of any other fighters who have spectacular ring entrances? Leave a comment!