“They can mute their television,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) when asked whether the UFC’s long-running theme song might ever be replaced with something, you know, a little more modern.
The promotion did, after all, integrate the FOX sports theme into broadcasts when it settled into a seven-year broadcast partnership with the network. Out went the “Gladiator Man” sequence that opened up fight cards, and in went Cleatus the MMA Robot. The FOX icon, as well as other touches that have become a part of the new UFC, will be there as usual for Saturday’s UFC Fight Nigh 26 event, which takes place at Boston’s TD Garden.
But so will “Face the Pain.” Hopes it might be axed are for naught.
“It’s like retiring (Bruce) Buffer saying, ‘It’s time,’” White said. “You’d have to go out and find another piece that fit and was perfect and license it and go through all this crazy s–t, you know what I mean?
The song, which was written by New York-based metal band Stemm, was licensed by the promotion in 2002 and plays during the highlight clips that open UFC broadcasts, as well as during the show.
To put it in perspective, Nickelback, Linkin Park, Puddle of Mudd and Creed all had hits the year the UFC bought the song.
Most music aficionados consider Stemm to be part of a genre that mixes heavy metal with hip-hop, grunge and other styles. Down-tuned guitars and distorted, screamed vocals are prominent.
On the road, Stemm promotes themselves as the “Soundtrack to the UFC” and still makes royalties from “Face the Pain.”
But almost every time it plays, there are pleas from fight fans to make it stop on message boards and on Twitter. White hears the critics, but he can’t imagine another tune that would open the show.
“What genre do you go with? I see the same things you see on the Internet, this nu-death metal or whatever the hell they call it,” he said. “And it doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re into or what you like or what you think. … When you’re in that arena and that thing goes off, it’s like, ‘Goddamn, there’s going to be a fight tonight.’
“It really does get you fired up.”
So, for now, everyone who doesn’t like it? You’ll have to, ahem, face the pain.
For the latest on UFC Fight Night 26, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Dana White)