With the faint, reverbed trickle of a few downtuned guitar strings, the UFC announces its entrance into our homes nearly every Saturday. Unfortunately, the UFC is a bit of an unkempt houseguest, which is why it then proceeds to blast our ears out with the broiest bro rock anthem of them all, STEMM’s “Face the Pain.”
“Time to end this suffering!” shouts former STEMM vocalist Louis Penque, the irony being that for the next three or so minutes, our suffering has only just begun. “I need a minute to myself!” shouts anyone forced with the prospect of hearing this song to completion, “So I can slip away!”
Let’s face it, the UFC’s musical taste is as dated as it is laughably stereotypical. If you don’t believe me, just check out the lineup they booked for their 4th of July International Fight Week, or their current cross-promotion with Linkin Park. Linkin Park! In 2014! Crazy pills! I feel like I’m taking them!
The UFC has been blasting “Face the Pain” since August of 2002 and have all but refused to update their horrendous theme song in the face of harsh fan criticism. That being the case, we’ve decided to make a few suggestions for them…
The Tru “Nu-Metal” Classics
Like many of its Affliction shirt-clad, Dude Wipe-wiping fans, the UFC seems to prefer neither rock nor hip-hop but rather some bastardized combination of the two — “Nu Metal” I believe it’s called — hence STEMM and Linkin Park.
For those of you not familiar with the genre, “Nu Metal” was spawned in the mid 1990′s and enjoyed a reign of dominance over the airwaves comparable only to “The Machida Era” in terms of its longevity. It is responsible for Limp Bizkit, the intentional misspelling of nicknames like Justin “The Nsane 1″ McCully, and Metallica’s St. Anger. It deserves every last bit of hate it receives.
But if the UFC is so insistent on keeping nu-metal a part of its brand, why not go with some true classics of the genre?
10. Skindred — “Nobody”
As far as nu metal bands go, Skindred is about unique as it gets, combining Jamaica-by-way-of-Wales reggae stylings with bouncy, “Jump Da Fuck Up”-esque guitar riffs and jungle drum beats since their formation in 1998. Not only have Skindred been able to meld these two styles without being laughed off every stage they’ve ever stepped foot on, they’ve actually enjoyed a huge amount of success. Whether its Ozzfest, Graspop, South by Southwest or the Wacken Open Air festivals, you can guarantee that Skindred have put their trademark stamp on it.
And it’s Skindred’s ability to seamlessly combine multiple musical styles for maximum effect that makes them the perfect potential face of the UFC’s music scene. They’re like the Frank Shamrocks of nu-metal, minus all the self-absorbed pretentiousness and braces. Not only that, but their British, and we all know how much the UFC loves them British folk.
Which brings us to “Nobody,” the first single released off Skindred’s debut album, Babylon. Featuring everything an MMA fan could want in a song (overdriven guitar riffs, a catchy hook, scat-screaming, etc.), “Nobody” is probably a prominent track on your gym/workout playlist already and should be given the UFC treatment while the kings of ragga-metal are still around to play it.
But it can’t be a UFC song without some hardcore, super badass lyrics, right bro? Well as far as I’m concerned, “Nobody gets out alive” > “Ripping me into pieces”
9. Deftones — “Engine No. 9″
There aren’t many nu metal bands with a discography that both stretches over a decade and contains more than 3 noteworthy tracks on each album. Truly, the genre offers little more than a depressing look back at our culturally misplaced, suburbanite understanding of what it meant to be rebellious just a few years ago. Of course, that our current understanding of the concept is centered around Justin Bieber pissing in mop buckets only shows how much further we have fallen, but I digress.
In any case, of all the putrid floor-turds shat from the garbage-ass that was nu metal, the Deftones are perhaps the *only* reputable band that could be associated with the genre. Taken from their debut album, 1994′s Adrenaline, “Engine No. 9″ remains one of the band’s most popular tunes and contains all the in-your-face attitude a UFC theme song could ever need. If there’s a better nu metal song than this, I don’t know what it is because I stopped listening to that nonsense when I was 14 like everybody else.
Then again, it’s not hard to imagine why the UFC loves nu metal so. Rocking out to the angsty, chug riff-laden beats of bands like Korn and Godsmack probably takes the UFC back to a time when the genre was most popular: The early 2000′s. Back then, the UFC was just some pimple-faced young punk without a care in the world. There were no major endorsements to hone their image around. There was no FOX deal, nor the pressure to fulfill 300 cards a year no mattered how watered down or unappealing they were that followed. There was only Mickey’s Malt Liquor and a card a month. Twas a simpler, better time.
What I’m trying to say is that growing up sucks.