Tensions have been mounting for UFC fighters in Jacksonville this week, as UFC 261 promises the return of a packed house - for the first time since the pandemic began.
Fight week can bring intensity into certain MMA gyms, it’s important to get in those last few sessions before the octagon door closes behind you. Some fighters like nothing more than sticking on their favorite song to help them push through the pain.
For the second installment of this series, let’s have a listen to songs featured in UFC fighters’ Instagram stories this past week.
The Payback - [James Brown]
“Can I get some hits? I need those hits, I need those hits, hit me” [The Payback]
The owner of the fastest knockout in UFC history, Jorge Masvidal has had plenty of online hits since his knee met Ben Askren’s face in 2019. In order to keep those hits flowing, ‘Gamebred’ will need a career-defining performance in his rematch with Kamaru Usman at UFC 261.
‘The Payback’ was a 1974 single released by ‘The Godfather of Soul’ James Brown, taken from the 1973 album of the same name. Lyrically, the song is centered around the film exploitation of the black community in the 1970’s by a predominantly white industry - known as blaxploitation.
Musically, it is a funk-tastic masterpiece that effortlessly grooves from bar to bar. This tune is about revenge, and Masvidal needs his ‘payback’ against Usman on Saturday - otherwise it’ll be a ‘paycheque’ issue in the near future.
Goat Talk (Sugar Sean) - [J.Rob The Chief]
“You can try pulling me down but I think I could float, y’all ain’t on my level it’s a joke” [Goat Talk]
Not many UFC fighters have songs written about them, but then again, there are not many UFC fighters like Sean O’Malley. ‘Sugar’ brings an incredible range of skills to the bantamweight division, displayed recently in a one-sided victory over Thomas Almeida at UFC 260.
Even though this song title has not been given the standardized acronym capitalization, please rest assured that J.Rob is referring to the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ and not a four-legged mountain climber. It is a surprisingly catchy track, considering its narcissistic origins, and even features a John Frusciante-esque guitar intro.
O’Malley naturally features heavily in the official video, even shadow boxing whilst smoking weed - which may look cool to some, but it is pretty inconsiderate, as most gyms don’t have ashtrays.
Kiss from a Rose - [Seal]
“Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah” [Kiss from a Rose]
Whether it’s the crushing loss of 2014, the redemption victory at UFC 257 earlier this year, or the ongoing Twitter war - one thing is certain - the more Dustin Poirier gets of Conor McGregor, the stranger it feels - yeah.
Originally written [and dismissed] by Seal in 1987, ‘Kiss from a Rose’ was finally released as a single in 1994 and featured in the film ‘The NeverEnding Story III’. It was re-released the following year as the second single from the Batman Forever film soundtrack.
The cryptic nature of Seal’s lyrics help to create a specific aura around this song, which manages to be cheesy, melancholic and eerie at the same time. A blockbuster that you always find yourself singing.
There is so much McGregor can tell you, so much McGregor can say - yet he remains Poirier’s power, his pleasure, his pain.