Because some of you asked for it during our recent roundup of the lamest, here are our picks for the best. Please post your opinions in the comments, but keep in mind that nu-metal is for fairies, and French rap music will absolutely not be tolerated.
5. Shonie Carter (UFC 53) — “Superfly,” Curtis Mayfield
Shonie Carter is only 35 years old, but he acts like he’s goddamn Ossie Davis in Do the Right Thing, always trying to tell the youngin’s bout the way things oughta be (and occasionally getting dropped from contracts as a result). No, “Superfly” doesn’t get a crowd riled up to see blood — Mr. International would rather use his entrance to showcase his taste in ’70s soul hits. In other words, fuck y’all.
4. Forrest Griffin (UFC 72) — “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” Dropkick Murphys
True, it doesn’t take much to get Irish people in the mood for drinking and fighting, but in a room full of Celtics fans, playing this song is like throwing chum into shark-filled water. When you’re actually in Belfast public broadcast of the Dropkick Murphys is irresponsibly dangerous — but then again, “Irresponsibly Dangerous” is Forrest Griffin’s middle name. The only thing that could have made his entrance at UFC 72 better is if Griffin convinced Mark Wahlberg to walk out to the cage with him.
3. Rich Franklin (multiple appearances) — “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You),” AC/DC
MMA fans revel in their outsider status, which is why this jam about rock ‘n roll unity is such a clever choice; it’s also AC/DC’s greatest song, which makes it a top candidate for greatest rock song by anyone. The slow intro builds suspense until Ace emerges from the locker room, and Brian Johnson’s ball-curdling screams tend to raise the arm hairs of everybody within earshot.
2. Roger Huerta (multiple appearances) — “Matador,” Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
I’ve been a fan of this pounding samba-rock joint since it dropped in 1994, and was psyched went I first saw Roger Huerta use it to hype himself for combat. In the song — as in Huerta’s nickname — “matador” means “killer,” not “bull-dodger.” Between the drum-line beat and the group-roar of the chorus, “Matador” already sounds like an arena full of screaming fans. Basically, it’s the heterosexual version of Ricky Martin’s “Cup of Life.” I know that doesn’t sound like a great sales pitch, but you’ll just have to trust me.
Obvious? Yes. Effective? Also yes. The Brits at London’s O2 Arena went bloody apeshit when Bisping charged out to the Octagon to the punk classic, while Americans watching at home got equally charged-up when the Hammer forced them to listen to the Boss. But it really didn’t matter which Springsteen song he walked out to; Hamill could have picked “Human Touch,” and I still would have destroyed all the furniture in my apartment.