Fans love to spend a Saturday night watching fights, just as they love to be entertained by the fighters who risk life and limb for a shot at a belt and the collective ovation of the fans in the stands and the viewers at home.
There’s no denying this one fact about the UFC: Some of MMA’s top promotion’s top contenders are characters in their own ways. In order to best understand how Tai Tuivasa fits the bill as one of the UFC’s wildest characters of all-time, we must first travel back in time.
Just think about all of the guys and gals that we’ve seen express themselves through what they say. do, and choose to have played for them musically before the fights.
Covington Proves Explosive
His walkout song, Kurt Angle’s entrance theme, “Medal”, complete with the recorded chant of “You suck!” from the WWE Universe, encapsulates his villainous persona, one which he relishes seemingly every single day.
At this point in his career, Covington should seriously consider making a run in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and working as a heel, because we all know that he has the microphone skills to pull it off. Covington could play the bad guy pretty well in any storyline that AEW’s writers would give him without even so much as trying to get the audience to boo him. In this regard, he’s quite the character.
Rousey Was A Character Too, and She Didn’t Care About Her Reputation
Another UFC legend who was a character in her own right was the great Ronda Rousey. Unlike Colby Covington’s personality, her explosiveness was limited to her in-ring activities. Who could ever forget that fateful evening in February of 2013 when she walked out to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Joan Jett and The Blackhearts’ 1980 hit single Bad Reputation for the first time at UFC 157?
Rousey kept using the single as her walkout music for the balance of her MMA career and it’s followed her into her two stints in WWE, with the coup de grace coming just moments before the triple-threat match for the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships between herself, Becky Lynch, (real name Rebecca Quin) and Charlotte Flair.
Blackhearts Perform “Bad Reputation” Live at WrestleMania For Rousey
The Blackhearts performed the song live as the heel persona of Ronda Rousey stalked to the squared circle, ultimately losing the match to Lynch by way of pinfall to close the show inside Metlife Stadium at WrestleMania 35.
Not only was the song choice of “Bad Reputation” Rousey’s way of taking the heat that the fans gave her during the early part of her championship reign in the UFC (the crowds would regularly boo and jeer her as she walked to the famous Octagon before a fight) and giving some back to them in response, it was pretty amusing in retrospect.
The fact that WWE managed to book Joan Jett and the Blackhearts specifically for Rousey’s entrance at WrestleMania 35 three years back set the scene perfectly, as it showed the contrasting personas of the three women in the match that night better than anything else would have. Charlotte Flair entered the ring after taking a helicopter ride over the stadium and Becky Lynch eschewed the theatrics and grand entrance in favor of nothing more than her traditional theme music.
Love her or hate her, Ronda Rousey is quite the character.
The Main Event: Tai Tuivasa
Finally, we come to the main event, and there’s one man that outshines both Covington and Rousey in terms of his walkout music. That man is none other than the UFC’s No. 3 contender at heavyweight, Tai Tuivasa, and how could it not be Tai Tuivasa at this point?
Aside from taking a random spectator’s shoe from him, taking a beer, pouring it into and shotgunning it from said article of footwear (also known as a shoey, performed as a good-luck charm in Tuivasa’s home country of Australia) after a win in the Octagon, half of the fun in the run-up to one of his fights is the guessing game that ensues as to what song will play as Tuivasa walks out to the cage.
This begs one very valid question: just what the heck is on Tai Tuivasa’s playlist? To be fair, isn’t that what all fans of Tai Tuivasa and the UFC are wondering at this point?
It seems as though Tai Tuivasa has an extensive playlist of songs, one which could very well rival those trotted out by any soft rock radio station.
A handy list of some of the songs that Tuivasa has entered the arena to has been compiled, and as expected from a list involving this man, there are some rather interesting and humorous selections on it: it ranges from Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” in his UFC promotional debut, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”, and perhaps the funniest choice, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua.
Yes, before anyone asks, Aqua was sued by Mattel for the sexualized portrayal of the Barbie character in the song and music video, with Aqua winning the case.
However, it’s Tuivasa’s most recent choice of a walkout song that is his personal best. Two weeks ago, as he prepared to fight Derrick Lewis at UFC 271, he walked to the cage accompanied by the strains of Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, rivaling iconic cartoon character Homer Simpson singing a few lines of the song in The Simpsons episode “Lisa’s First Word” as the funniest use of that single.
That night, Tai Tuivasa effectively leveled up in the walkout songs game and the selection of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” elevated him to legendary status in that category.
Tai Tuivasa’s walkout songs offer some levity amid the very serious preparations that training camps and fight weeks often bring. It’s incredibly refreshing to see an intimidating-looking guy like Tai Tuivasa have fun with his walkout songs and it shows that he’s an amusing and creative man away from the cage.
One has to wonder just what he’ll have planned when the time comes for him to challenge for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images