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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Walk Out Music and Superstition

I dig music, and I'm a firm believer in that if it sounds good, it is good.  I can usually find something to appreciate from any genre. Metal, rock, classical, pop, blues, reggae, dance hall, punk, funk, soul, hip hop...those sounds and any variation of the aforementioned will always occupy space in my heart. Have a look at a playlist I've been working on if you're to up it: To be brutally honest though, I can do without pop country. I'd rather listen to the toilet flush. But the older stuff on the other hand, like Patsy Klein and some of the newer alt country, is an earful of rad. And the song "Highwayman", by the country supergroup The Highwaymen, is one of the best cuts of all time.

When it comes to walkout music, I've always picked songs that have a deeper meaning for me than just something that will sit well with the masses in the crowd. I've chosen songs that have been on my cardio mixes that I made for each specific fight. Some of the songs have a sound you've come to expect an mma fighter to choose; others, not so much. Some promotions don't give fighters the option to choose their own music, instead, opting for some top 40 garbage by Creed or Godsmack. In those instances, I'll use the handy dandy cat butt symbol (*).  I'll do my best to recount all of the tracks that have accompanied me on that long trek to the ring/cage to date.

Amateur fights

 1) "The Wolf is Loose" by Mastadon

 2)  *
 3) "Love Thing" by the Melvins

 4) *
 5) "Blackbird Singing" by The Paragons & Rosalyn Sweat

 6) *

Pro fights

 1) *
 2) *
 3) "Wave of Mutilation" by the Pixies

 4) "The Bloat" by the Melvins

 5) *
 6) "Greed Killing" by Napalm Death

 7) *
 8) *
 9) *
10) "Orion" by Metallica

11) "6 Days" by DJ Shadow

12) "6 Days" by DJ Shadow
13) "Orion" by Metallica

Some people say fighting is 50% physical, 50% mental, or 60/40, or 70/30, or whatever. I'm a firm believer that fighting is 100% mental. I heard Bas Rutten break it down on Inside MMA once, and it makes perfect sense to me. If you train hard, you feel confident, but it takes mental strength to even begin to train your body beyond normal human limitations. For me, getting out of bed in the morning to go running isn't so much a physical endeavour as it is a mental one. Getting my ass beat in the gym and coming back for more takes mental fortitude. Sure, it takes a physical toll on the body, but to be able to work through the soreness and the old saying goes: "mind over matter."

Here's where superstition comes into the equation. I won all my fights except for my last two outings, and I chose different walkout songs for every fight before I made the mistake of repeating my walkout music. I know what you're thinking: "Dave, you're a lunatic. You lost because you we're out-classed those nights", and you're right on both points. But somewhere in the back of my mind, there was a seed of doubt. That little pessimistic voice was telling me "You fool! You should have gone with "Next on the List" by Napalm Death!"

So why did I repeat the same mistake twice? I ask myself the same question. Picking a different walkout song for every fight had become a ritual for me, but I thought that it was time to switch it up and just stick to one. Many fighters have a signature song. I was wrong in trying to mimic those fighters. Never again. I'm just going to try to be the best Dave Jansen that I can be, and stick with my own crazy superstitions.