With Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza signing with Strikeforce, the Brazilian-born fighter will likely bring his epic fight entrances to the U.S.
The beauty of his walk to the ring to fight Jason "Mayhem" Miller at Dream 4 is that Jacare needed no props, no back-up dancers, just a great song and Dream's amazing announcer rolling 'R's and singing out the Jacare's name. It got the whole crowd standing and doing the alligator clap -- "jacare" means "alligator" in Portugese -- and even had Mayhem singing along.
That doesn't mean that props and backup dancers don't make for a fun entrance. Behold "King Mo," Muhammed Lawal at Sengoku:
Who doesn't want to wear a crown and have rose petals thrown in front of them while they walk?
Mayhem Miller also makes good use of backup dancers at Dream. He's not the best dancer on the planet, but what he lacks in talent he makes up for with enthusiasm.
But as Tom Lawlor shows us, great entrances are not limited to Japan. Here is how he made his way to the cage before beating C.B. Dollaway at UFC 100.
The star of that entrance is not so much Lawlor, but his cornerman and slayer of Kimbo Slice, Seth Petruzelli. He is committed to the bit, keeping the bone in his mouth, scratching behind his ear, and hopping his whole way to the Octagon.
Akihiro Gono also had some committed cornermen. They would have to be to dress in drag and perform a dance routine before Gono's loss to Jon Fitch at UFC 94.
But no one, and I mean no one, could put together an entrance better than the former K-1 and UFC fighter, Genki Sudo.
Among his many costumes, Sudo dressed up as a baseball player, an Indian chief, an astronaut and Buckethead. His entrances had better choreography than the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, and the man could dance. He also brought a message of peace and love to MMA. It seems like a contradiction, but for Sudo, it works.
Some fight fans don't like the big entrances; they just want the fighters to get to the cage or ring and fight. That's fine, but I appreciate when a fighter goes above and beyond to express himself, and shows he isn't a pugilistic automaton.