I'm always curious about the songs that fighters choose to walk out to. I'm sure there's many reasons why they choose the songs they do. But I always wondered if any of them use the music as another tool in their arsenal. In other words, do any fighters fight to the beat of the music?
Fighters need to develop a rhythm when fighting so why not establish that rhythm in your head before the fight begins? I'm obviously not a fighter because I'm sure this is easier said than done, or it's simply something every fighter already tries to do and I'm just being ignorant. But that's not going to stop me from droning on. I know plenty of fighters, particularly the lighter weight classes, who keep an amazing pace from start to finish. Do they use music in their heads to keep the pace going and if not then is it possible? And if it is possible what other options does that open up?
We don't see too many MMA fighters consistently throw a lot of combinations. Although there are some that do, there's still many fighters who seem content on throwing one strike and getting out of the way. I feel like the most popular thing I hear a corner man tell his fighter is to follow up whatever strike he keeps throwing with more strikes. How many times do we hear them tell a fighter to use the jab to set up the combinations and yet nothing comes out of it? Having a beat running through your head would help to throw more combinations because you have a rhythm to work with. And it's more than just using the beat, it's utilizing the whole song. A song can have soft and heavy parts to it and if you fight to it then you're not loading up on every punch and you're not just pitter-pattering the whole time either. If you start incorporating the dynamics of the song then the natural rhythm of fighting comes back and you can string together more combinations.
I think if you can learn to fight to one song then why not learn to fight to many songs? If fighting to one song can help you establish your rhythm, then adding more songs can be used to switch your rhythm before you're opponent starts timing you. Certainly that would make a fighter more unpredictable. Timing a fighter who is fighting to a song in their head would be difficult especially if they're incorporating the dynamics from soft to loud. You wouldn't exactly be able to time when a fighter is about to explode if he's timing it to the part of a song that kicks into the loud part. And then what happens when he backs off when the song gets soft again? Even if the opponent knew you were fighting to the beat of a song he wouldn't know how many measures it was until it got loud again and you exploded. Choosing songs with breakdowns would also help to create a broken rhythm while still staying with the same song.
I think it would also be very interesting to see if it helps fighters when their corner yells for them to turn up the pace. Perhaps if a fighter is losing and needs to go for the finish their corner can yell out track numbers which correlate to a specific album the fighter has chosen songs to fight from. When it's time to push the pace is when they would yell out the track number of the loudest and fastest paced song on the album. If their brain can be trained to go to the song when they hear that number, then that would make pushing the pace a more realistic possibility when physical and mental fatigue are taking their toll. There would need to be a key phrase before the track number as not to confuse it with traditional striking numbers. So maybe just something like, "Push the pace! 5!"
Basically I'm just wondering how fighters would react if they incorporated all the dynamics of music into their fight game if they don't already. Would it help or hinder their process? Would it make them a better fighter or end up making them more predictable? If someone could fully incorporate it into a working process then what would the limitations be? How many songs could you memorize, fight to, and confuse your opponent to while still maintaining your game plan and focusing on the fight? Or maybe the whole idea is just absurd and would never work. Or maybe like I said I'm just ignorant and everyone does this naturally already. But I think with the many genres of music from many different cultures across the globe that there has to be some useful tools that can be borrowed to help improve a fighter's game. If you were a fighter, what song do you think would be the most effective to fight to?