Robbie Lawler is curse-proof.
In the unwritten rules of MMA walkout science, one of the riskiest moves is picking a song from the music catalog of Detroit rapper Eminem. Hours of research and mathematical equations have proven that if you walkout to an Eminem, an unspoken curse will hover over you for the next 15 to 25 minutes of your life. In the UFC on Fox 12 main event on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., Lawler proved that the cure-all for any MMA-related hex is punching like a tank, gut-wrenching body kicks and a chin built for five rounds of punishment.
If Lawler were to pick a song by Eminem, he surely would pick a track filled with smack talk from one of the controversial rapper’s first two albums, right? Or maybe Lawler would go with an ultra-violent, high-tempo Eminem song? No, he defies walkout logic by thinking outside the box. Since re-signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and becoming a top welterweight contender, Lawler has used the inspirational power balled “Beautiful” to put him in the mood to punch another human being in the face.
With his confidence at an all-time high, Matt Brown switched to a new walkout song for UFC on Fox 12. When we last heard from “The Immortal,” he leaned on California hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold as his personal soundtrack. Staying in the hard rock genre, Brown selected Tennessee rockers Saliva to pump him up for the most important fight of his life. Used in World Wrestling Entertainment and NFL commercials, the 2006 rock hit “Ladies and Gentlemen” is a crowd-friendly song used to ramp up arenas.
Across the span of 25 minutes and with a potential welterweight title shot hanging in the balance, Lawler and Brown left it all in the cage. Round one opened with both men getting in their shots, but Lawler’s counter striking set the table for his eventual victory. In the later rounds, Lawer’s well-rounded offense allowed the San Diego native to outscore Brown. Hard body kicks, takedowns and ground control all led to Lawler having his hand raised. Lawler put on another beautiful performance in the cage and will walk into a rematch with current UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks despite Eminem’s attempts to jinx him.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira picked a really good walkout song: Method Man and Redman’s “Da Rockwilder.” The problem was Nogueira’s walkout song lasted two minutes and 18 seconds while his fight with current light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson lasted a mere 44 seconds.
Johnson hit the cage to the Lil Wayne track “Moment,” off the compilation album “Young Money: Rise of an Empire.” Johnson’s career has risen to new heights since he returned to the UFC as a 205-pound wrecking ball. Three months removed from the most significant win of his UFC career, Johnson’s new signature “Moment” may have occurred in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 12.
“Da Rockwilder” is a sugary walkout desert wrapped in a compact package. From a 1999 collaboration album, it attacks strong with an opening baseline, follow-up beats and both rappers at their lyrical best. Returning from an 18-month layoff and allowed little time to get his feet wet, Nogueira was not at his best for his bout with Johnson. A clean left hand paired with an uppercut from “Rumble” saw Nogueira wobbled against the cage in the fight’s opening moments. Johnson sealed his eighth win in a row with more punching combinations that went unblocked by the Brazilian. With the victory, Johnson’s next big Octagon moment could conceivably come in a potential No. 1 contender’s bout at 205 pounds.
For her UFC debut, Joanna Jedrzejczyk not only picked a walkout song from her native Poland but also happened to guest star in the track’s accompanying music video. “Przejmij ster w swoje dtonie,” by Polish hip hop starlet Rena, is a 2013 single off the album “Uliczna Psychologia.” Loosely translated to English, “Przejmij ster w swoje dtonie” means “take control of your steering wheel.”
In the steering wheel of life, Jedrzejczyk not only took control of her UFC destiny but power slid into a tight, left-hand turn in between oncoming cars. Quick on her feet, Jedrzejczyk utilized her boxing and a stiff jab to control Juliana de Lima Carneiro for 15 minutes. Hard right hands and combinations led to Jedrzejczyk’s decision win.
Jedrzejczyk’s cameo in the Rena music video shows off her full range of acting moves, including a perfectly timed punch. As a newly signed UFC strawweight, Jedrzejczyk’s striking skills should steer her career in all the right directions.
UFC on Fox 12 Walkout SongsRobbie Lawler: Eminem “Beautiful” | Relapse (2009)
Matt Brown: Saliva “Ladies and Gentlemen” | Blood Stained Love Story (2007)
Anthony Johnson: Lil Wayne “Moment” | Young Money: Rise of an Empire (2014)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Method Man and Redman “Da Rockwilder” | Blackout! (1999)
Dennis Bermudez: Wale feat. Meek Mill and Rick Ross “Ambition” | Ambition (2011)
Clay Guida: Pepper “Stand and Fall” | Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations (2008)
Bobby Green: T.I. “Big Things Poppin’ (Do It)” | T.I. vs. T.I.P. (2007)
Josh Thomson: LL Cool J “It’s Time for War” | Exit 13 (2008)
Jorge Masvidal: DJ Casper “Cha Cha Slide” | Cha Cha Slide (2000)
Tim Means: Rob Zombie “Feel So Numb” | Sinister Urge (1997)
Hernani Perpetuo: The Doors “Break On Through (To the Other Side)” | The Doors (1967)
Brian Ortega: DMX “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” | Cradle 2 the Grave (2003)
Tiago dos Santos e Silva: Marquinhos Gomes “Nao Morrerei” | Ele Nao Desiste de Voce (2010)
Juliana de Lima Carneiro: AC/DC “T.N.T.” | T.N.T. (1975)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk: Rena “Przejmij ster w swoje dtonie” | Uliczna Psychologia (2013)
Noad Lahat: Matisyahu “Youth” | Youth (2006)
Steven Siler: Drake “Headlines” | Take Care (2011)
Daron Cruickshank: Black Keys & RZA “The Baddest Man Alive” | The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)
Mike de la Torre: James Brown “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” | It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World (1966)
Tommy Messano is the editor-in-chief of ULTMMA.com. You can contact him on Twitter at @ULTMMA.