One of the most hair raising, goose bump inducing moments for MMA fans is seeing a fighter make the journey out of their locker room and into the Octagon™. There truly is nothing like it!
There’s focus in their eyes and determination in their hearts. While their music blares throughout the arena, fighters have only one thing on their minds: Victory.
For some fighters it’s straight into the Octagon™ and down to business. For others, and more often than not, it’s a carefully structured ritual filled with traditions that help them get into the mindset to come out on top.
We know we have our favorites, how about you? Who’s your favorite fighter and what’s their pre-fight tradition? Read on to see which entrances get us going and which we could watch over and over again!
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
I’m not sure what it is about this woman, maybe her dominance in her division or her not-so-quiet confidence, but she scares the heck out of us. Her pre-fight ritual does nothing to diminish this fear.
Prior to fights, Rousey’s walks out to Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation, and mean mugs the ENTIRE way to the Octagon™. Her pre-fight face can make most adults cry. With steely resolve she enters the Octogan™ (or should we say stomps into it) and slaps her chest.
Not sure if her opponents feel the same fear we do upon seeing it, but judging by her undefeated record, we’re going to say they do.
Honestly, this is another fighter who terrifies us. Maybe it’s his nicknames The Axe Murder or Cachorro Louco (Crazy Dog), or maybe it’s the fact that he’s a knockout machine. OR just maybe it’s the intensity of his pre-fight ritual.
Most MMA fans will call this ritual to mind when discussing pre-fight traditions. Silva simply stares at his opponent while intensely rolling his wrists. A move that is both mesmerizing and intimidating.
Jon “Bones” Jones
One of the most dominant fighters in the UFC, the light heavyweight champ and current #1 P4P fighter (as ranked by UFC.com as of 8/19/2014) may not necessarily be everyone’s favorite, but he certainly knows how to enter the Octogan™ with style!
At his most recent fight at UFC® 172, Bones looked to former Baltimore Ravens superstar Ray Lewis paying tribute to the LB during his walkout by mimicking his famous pre-game dance moves!
What Jones is really known for are his flawless cartwheels. Before matches the champ executes an elegant cartwheel inside the Octagon™, he’s switched it up here and there, but it’s certainly memorable to see a 6’4”, 205 lb. man do gymnastics right before a match!
Known for his relentless offensive style, Guida intimidates opponents with a bizarre ritual. His older brother Jason is required to assist him in a very unbrotherly fashion.
Guida gets pumped by having his bro slap him across the face. Several times. HARD. It’s actually tough to watch (except for the fact that it serves to get Guida incredibly hyped) and I’m willing to bet it gets under his opponents skin!
Junior Dos Santos
The powerful #2 ranked UFC heavyweight is definitely on our list. His pre-fight ritual may be simple, but it sends his message LOUD and clear.
Once inside the Octagon™ JDS simply stares down his opponent throwing a sharp finger point into the canvas. This move is similar to the same pre-fight move of the Nogueira brothers, but is extremely terrifying when delivered by "Cigano."
HONORABLE MENTION: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
I’m pretty sure we should all be considering changing his official nickname to Wolf-man. Rampage’s signature pre-fight ritual is really just more of a thing he does whenever he feels like it. Pre-fight, post-fight, maybe at the dinner table? Who knows?
Simple, like JDS’, Jackson’s go to move, isn’t a move, as much as it’s a howl. No joke. He throws his head back and howls. Long and piercing, this thing will send shivers up your spine!
See Pre-Fight Rituals LIVE
Sure you can go to YouTube and cue up a pre-fight ritual anytime you want, but there is NOTHING like seeing it live. With the screams or boos of everyone in the arena filling your ears, watch LIVE as your favorite (or most hated) fighter enters the Octagon™ and put the fear of god into their opponents with their pre-fight traditions!
Even more intense than the ritual, is the day before’s pre-fight stare down which takes place during the weigh-in!
Through UFC VIP Experience select an Official Ticket Package to an upcoming UFC event and witness all the heart pounding action. In addition to your day-of ticket, select a package with access to all the pre-fight events such as the Fighter Weigh-ins and Q & A. With select packages your Friday may even include an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour where you can see the Octagon™ before anyone else, all the stuff that goes down before the fight, as well as fighter appearances.
With packages you also receive (depending on your package) access to the official rehearsal and sound check OR an exclusive tour of the Octagon™ with the official belt!
In addition, get exclusive access to the Official UFC VIP Hospitality Party Venue. Stocked with gourmet buffets, open bars and tons of exclusive entertainment elements, it’s truly the ultimate pre-game to the fights! Throughout the evening get ready to experience UFC fighter, ring girls, personality appearances, and much more!
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