Quick, what do Tamdan McCrory, Dong Hyun Kim and Rich Franklin all have in common? If you said they’ve all had walk in songs chosen for them by the UFC you would be correct. All three have had felt the wrath of DJ Dana White who changed up their original song choices to something the UFC deemed more appropriate for the event. Essentially, they are looking to build an atmosphere in the building and have never underestimated the power of the fighters walk out song.
Franklin’s song has been “Those About to Rock” by ACDC and he surprised many when he admitted he never picked it and couldn’t care less what song he comes out to. Kim’s song was changed one day before UFC 88 to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers “The Devil Came down to Georgia” and McCrory was so caught off guard by the last minute song change during UFC 96 that during his post fight interview he called Dana White out on it.
Over 100 UFC Pay Per Views later the UFC continues to build their brand how they want and they have done an outstanding job of it. Next Saturday night however, Mr. White and crew would be best served leaving Yoshihiro Akiyama’s walk out song “Time to Say Goodbye” in the CD player as the Japanese / Korean star makes his highly anticipated UFC debut.
A “Time to say Goodbye” by Sarah Brightman is one of the greatest songs of our generation and has been used by Akiyama as his walk out song for as long as I can remember. It is beautiful, calming and surprisingly electric all at the same time. It is also a symbol of Las Vegas, where the event is being held. It’s often not easy to leave that place.
It’s not a pump up song and it won’t cause mass headbanging at the Mandalay Bay on Saturday. But it needs to stay. It captures the moment.
Akiyama should be the exception to any music rules the UFC has. When Brightman’s “Time to Say Goodbye” echoes out to the 13,000 in attendance at UFC 100 and the millions at home, you will understand what I mean. Watch below.
I’ll be in attendance at UFC 100 and it will be an epic night. So please Dana White, promise me this. That you won’t say goodbye to one of the greatest songs and walk outs in history during the most historic night in the UFC’s impressive 15 years.