MMA is noisy. The sounds in the cage — polyurethane smacking flesh, the resounding thud of the canvas — are just one section in the sport’s violent orchestra. Outside the chain-link fence there are barks from cornerpeople, claps and horns from the timekeeper’s table and thumping bass through PA systems.
When produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, MMA’s cacophony includes a unique, and predictable, soundboard; vocal-cord shredding screams of “It’s time!” and explosive grunts of “He hurt him!” The UFC layers actual music into the mix, too, including an oddly placed Romanesque chorus and the Dana White commissioned nu metal ode to face-punching.
Fighters, in the UFC and beyond, also use songs to add texture to MMA’s soundscape. See (and hear) Wanderlei Silva’s ‘Sandstorm’, Ronda Rousey’s ‘Bad Reputation’, and Conor McGregor’s ‘Foggy Dew’.