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Tag: music

The Maestro: How Drew Fickett Finds Peace in the Piano

(Fickett plays Metallica’s “Unforgiven” in this recent clip from Arizona Combat Academy.)

By Santino DeFranco

MMA veteran Drew Fickett is well known for his UFC battle with Karo Parisyan, for handing Josh Koscheck the first loss of his career inside the Octagon, and for the struggles with addiction that temporarily derailed his career (and likely contributed to his appearance on Judge Judy for standing on the hood of a car and chipping golf balls off of it). But most people don’t know that Fickett is also a music junkie and piano buff — spending up to an hour a day tickling the black and white keys with his knotted knuckles and arthritic fingers.

Drew’s fight nickname, “Nightrider,” is somewhat of a new addition. For most of his career, Fickett held the moniker of “Master,” which is more fitting for a pianist, if only indirectly. “Master” is the English equivalent of the Spanish word “maestro,” which is often bestowed upon great composers, or other artists. Seeing as though Drew has a tattoo that reads “Hecho en Mexico” on his shoulder — though he was really born in Columbia, South Carolina — it all seems to make a bit more sense. Or at least it does by Fickett’s own logic.

I first learned of Drew’s piano prowess when he and a few other fighters from my gym were helping me move an antique piano for my wife, who has played since she was a child. After contacting a man selling the piano on Craigslist, I showed up to the guy’s house with a group of fighters to help me move it, none of whom knew a thing about the instrument, let alone how to play one, or so I thought.

I looked at the piano like a monkey staring at a computer. I checked for visible damage, hit a couple of keys, and then asked the man if he’d take $50 less than what he was asking. He said, “No.” I told him I’d take it. Drew, unhappy with my negotiating skills, as well as my inability to distinguish the musical tool from a large paperweight, chimed in.

“Tino, you don’t know how to play?” Drew asked.

“No. Not at all,” I replied.

“What the hell were you thinking buying a piano without even knowing if it works?”

Drew then walked over to the piano, pulled out the bench, and sat down in front of it. Slumped over like Schroeder from the Charlie Brown cartoons, he proceeded to blow all of our minds with the melodic sounds of songs that were unfamiliar to any of us. After about two minutes he stood up, turned around, and nonchalantly said, “A couple of keys are out of tune, but it’s a great fucking piano.”


Rampage Jackson Is About to Release a Song About Hitting It From the Back, You Guys

(This is what he means by “off-the-chain doggy-style.”)

I’m sorry, but there are times when you have to break your own ban. This is one of those times. In a new interview with Fighters Only, Quinton Jackson discusses how testosterone replacement therapy turned his life around, though it caused him to gain a bunch of water weight that contributed to his UFC 144 scale-fail. And then he dropped this bit of info (via Fightlinker):

I’m in a studio — you know I make music as a hobby — I am in the studio right now with my friend who produced all my tracks. We made a big hit actually, people will be really surprised when I release this because I have been making music for like six or seven years but never released anything. Now I am finally comfortable to actually release something. I was depressed yesterday but then we made this hit last night and it immediately cheered me up because normally I make music just for a hobby, I never release it, its just for me to enjoy. But this song cheered me up in my hard times right now and I think my fans can get some enjoyment out of it. It cheered me up if they don’t like it I don’t give a fuck. I’m the king of doggy style.”

No arguments there. But how does hormone replacement therapy figure into this story? Well…


Arianny Celeste’s Music Career Is Off And Running…Sort Of

Arianny Celese UFC girls
(Sure, when I try to take photos of the Octagon Girls getting dressed it’s "creepy," but when Arianny does the same thing it’s fun and whimsical. It figures. Photo courtesy of

You might remember a while back when we posted UFC Octagon girl Arianny Celeste’s profile video for the Maxim “Hometown Hotties” competition and she mentioned her aspirations to be a rock/pop singer.  Intrepid Cage Potato reader Maxwell discovered that Arianny now has her own MySpace music page, which has, as of this writing, all of two songs on it.

I’d say rock/pop is a fair description of the genre.   Her songs are about on par with the cookie-cutter stuff you hear on the radio, though she doesn’t quite hit all the notes at times, so maybe they should add a little of that T-Pain effect to smooth it out.  As Maxwell points out, her song “Superficial” seems, shall we say, heavily “influenced” by this Avril Lavigne joint.

Arianny would be the first to make a successful jump from Octagon girl to pop sensation, and there’s probably a good reason you don’t see much crossover between those careers.  For one, they appeal to different demographics.  Dudes may ogle ring girls and buy magazines with pictures of them, but those same dudes are probably not buying Avril Lavigne CD’s (except the guys at Fightlinker, who like anything Canadian, even Alan Thicke).  But hey, she’s off to a good start with the MySpace music page.  They don’t let just anyone put their music on the internet.


Five Most Kickass Entrance Songs — EVER!

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 [...]