There’s no doubt music can bring out emotions, which is why sports competitions play attention-grabbing walkout songs every time player/s enter a sports arena Nowadays, walkout songs are carefully chosen not only to craft an identity for individual competitors; but also to get them into the rhythm. That way, their minds are already focused on their current goal once they set foot on the playing field, the court , the ring or the cage.
What are Walkout Songs?
Walkout songs are also called walkup songs or entrance music; in baseball games, they’re also at-bat or batter music. In today’s sports arenas, they are usually smooth-paced, upbeat sounds of rapping or hip-hop music, powerful enough to fire up a title defender or a challenger and at the same hype up their respective fans. In many cases, walkout or entrance music contains a powerful message that the entering player/s or fighter’s resolve to win, which in some way, could intimidate the opponent.
Walkout music can be compelling and effective, so much so, that administrators of the Major League Baseball franchise, established a set rules to observe when playing at-bat or batting music. The rules include specifying that a walkup music should stop once the introduced batter has reached the dirt cut-out enclosing the home plate. Moreover, while playing music clips of a walkout song in between pitches is allowed, a limit must be observed.
A Close Look at the Psychology Behind Walkout Songs in Mixed Martial Arts Arenas
In the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions, walkout songs are usually specific and played as signature music of an MMA fighter.
Take note of how Jay Dee “B.J.” Penn III, the first American jiu jitsu World Championship Gold medalist, walks up to the cage with Hawaii ‘78.
Yet, many others switch up on their entrance music; when one moment it can be a hot new release that they can get their blood moving, or an old song they discovered can be the next, because it stirred up excitement at the thought of getting into another cage fight.
According to Anthony Wright, a 3-0 MMA pro, a walkout song for him is one that conditions him to assume a warrior mindset. Irish UFC Champion Conor McGregor on the other hand, settled for the folk ballad “The Foggy Dew” as sung by Sinead O’Connor because the song has a personal meaning for him. Walkout songs for some is for branding, as in the case of Donald Cerrone who is professionally known as “Cowboy,” which makes Kid Rock’s “Cowboy” the perfect music for his walks to the cage.
While there is still a debate over the best walkout songs in the history of MMA fights, below is a list of the current top ten most popular MMA walkout songs:
Lunatic Fringe by Dan Henderson
California Love by Urijah Faber
Sweet Caroline by Darren Till
Zombie by Chan Sung Jung
Feelin’ Myself by Andre Fili
Kick in the Door by Frankie Edgar
Sandstorm by Wanderlei Silva
Stranglehold by Joseph Benavidez