Any child of the late ‘80s or early ‘90s likely felt a few pangs of nostalgia when Curtis Blaydes walked to the cage for his UFC 225 fight against Alistair Overeem.
That’s because rather than the usual walkout fare, Blaydes dug deep into the memory bank and walked out to the original Mortal Kombat theme song, a legendary tune for fans of the video game series and 1995 film of the same name. The goofy nature of the Mortal Kombat theme may make it unusual choice for a walkout song in a sport that often takes itself too seriously like mixed martial arts, but UFC 225 wasn’t a first for Blaydes — the goliath heavyweight has used the Mortal Kombat theme as his walkout music multiple times now since starting his UFC run, and for good reason.
“It just, it gets me going,” Blaydes explained recently on The MMA Hour. “And you know they (the UFC) have a lot of restrictions on [songs], especially rap music, so I was like what’s the best song I could use just instrumental-wise? I mean, it’s not just instrumental, but it’s predominantly instrumental. And I thought about it. That was the one. It gets me going.”
Blaydes, 27, ultimately defeated Overeem via third-round knockout at UFC 225, splitting the veteran open with a hailstorm of elbows in a gory sight that would’ve felt right at home in any Mortal Kombat video game, like the kind Blaydes grew up enjoying.
“I wasn’t the best at it, I’m not gonna lie,” Blaydes said of the game series. “But I played it enough.”
There might be something to Blaydes’ unique walkout routine. Reflecting back on his victory over Overeem, “Razor” said he has never been less nervous before a fight than he was at UFC 225. That readiness showed too, as Blaydes’ gruesome stoppage of Overeem extended the six-fight unbeaten streak that has propelled the Illinois native into the No. 2 ranking in the UFC’s media generated heavyweight rankings.
Blaydes said that he is hoping for a title shot next. But regardless of who he fights, he intends to stick with the walkout song that has worked out for him throughout his rise into title contention.
“People will tell me all the time, ‘Oh, you should use this.’ I’m like, no, I haven’t heard anything better than Mortal Kombat under the current rules,” Blaydes said. “If they ever lift the rules on music, then maybe I would pick a different song. But currently, no.”