Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard share the Octagon yet again at “The Ultimate Fighter 18” Finale on Saturday in Las Vegas, with both lightweights paying homage to the west coast hip-hop scene. However, their dance at the Mandalay Bay Events Center vaguely resembled their first two meetings.
On a two-fight losing streak, Diaz went back to an entrance song the Stockton, Calif., fighter had previously used against Donald Cerrone at UFC 141. A rare posthumous remix, 2Pac’s “I'm a Souljah DJ Scholar Remix,” mean mugged Diaz into the cage. After his “Knockout of the Night” performance, Diaz, a fighter without a nickname, may have to put “Stockton Souljah” on his shortlist of potential aliases.
Also entering the fight on the heels a loss, Maynard elected to fight 2Pac with 2Pac in the walkout battle. “Troublesome 96,” off the late 2Pac’s first of many Greatest Hits albums, may have been an ominous sign for the 34-year-old.
It is a rare occasion when two different fighters select the same exact artist for their walkout music. Perhaps sometime in the mid-1990s the younger versions of Diaz and Maynard would have been best pals, bonded by their love of deep 2Pac battle tracks. With a furious onslaught of punches, Diaz stopped Maynard for a technical knockout win inside the first round. Diaz’s first TKO victory since August 2010 should allow the 28-year-old to solider on inside the ultra-competitive UFC lightweight division.
The party was there on the Westside for hyped Team Alpha Male prospect Chris Holdsworth. In “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 men’s bantamweight final, Holdsworth’s love for new jack swing rap jams helped push him past Davey Grant. Surely a staple at every Team Alpha Male social event, Holdsworth selected Montell Jordan’s number one hit single “This is How We Do It” for his entrance music. Holdsworth, an 8-year-old pup when “This is How We Do It” hit the charts, got his ground game groove on against the Englishman. After taking Grant’s back, Holdsworth wrapped up the fight midway through the second round with a rear-naked choke submission.
Elsewhere at “The Ultimate Fighter 18” Finale, male and female fighters went with a wide range of song selections. Kentucky bantamweight Jessamyn Duke kept her perfect record intact and gave a hat tip to the TV show “Game of Thrones” with her walkout of “Seven Devils” by Florence + the Machine. Raquel Pennington, 25, won her UFC debut and shared her love for dubstep with Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us Dubstep Remix.”
Jared Rosholt and Drew Dober experienced different results in their first UFC appearances, but they took fight fans back to the early 1980s with their musical love of Red Rider’s “Lunatic Fringe” and The Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.” The first 16 seconds of the video for “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” may be the greatest in the history of music.
‘The Ultimate Fighter 18’ Finale Walkout Songs:Nate Diaz: 2Pac “I’m a Souljah DJ Scholar Remix” (2007)
Gray Maynard: 2Pac “Troublesome 96” Greatest Hits (1998)
Chris Holdsworth: Montell Jordan “This is How We Do It” This Is How We Do It (1995)
Jessamyn Duke: Florence + the Machine “Seven Devils” Ceremonials (2011)
Raquel Pennington: Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us Dubstep Remix” The Heist (2012)
Jared Rosholt: Red Rider “Lunatic Fringe” As Far as Siam (1981)
Walt Harris: DJ Drama “My Moment” Quality Street Music (2012)
Sean Spencer: TNGHT “Higher Ground” TNGHT EP (2012)
Drew Dober: The Gap Band “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” Gap Band IV (1982)
Roxanne Modafferi: Aaron Waters -- The Mighty Raw “Go Go Power Rangers” Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the Album: A Rock Adventure (1994)
Tommy Messano is the editor-in-chief of ULTMMA.com. You can contact him on Twitter at @ULTMMA.