Recently, it came to my attention through the magic of Twitter that UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste released a music video for her single, “Top of The World.” I never actually saw the video, but from what Twitter tells me, I will remain in better health without that click of the play button.
Of course, we should not jump to conclusions or premature assumptions, as Rebecca Black and the “Hot Girl Problems” girls still linger in most minds, so let’s not write off Arianny as the worst possible thing to happen in music. Still, it raises the question about the “mix” of the people involved in mixed martial arts, and whether movies or music have any place in that mix.
For a different perspective, consider Randy Couture and Rich Franklin. Couture holds a UFC Hall of Fame spot while Franklin arguably deserves one. Couture helped complete “The Expendables” for two movies, while Franklin starred in “Cyborg Soldier.”
Obviously, we can’t dump on “The Expendables” when the first one did $274,470,394 and the second did $289,290,458, but who heard of “Cyborg Soldier” when it came out? Did anyone even know Franklin did a movie in 2008?
Of course, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal knows about crossing over from his own sport to mainstream movies and other media, as he starred in “Kazaam” and was featured in a video game known as “Shaq-Fu,” but outside of that and a part in the “Scary Movie” franchise, Shaq’s other endeavors turned in overall busts in the public eye, despite cult followings.
That said, something about the question of whether MMA fighters would benefit from sticking to their craft proves subjective. On one hand, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson did receive some love for his role in “The A-Team,” and Cung Le will play a role in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Diggs’ “The Man with The Iron Fists,” plus we cannot act as though Couture did not have some success as he plays his own part in Sylvester Stallone’s “Expendables” project.
Another possibility lies in one producing a film that holds the promise of “Haywire.” Though critics wondered about Gina Carano’s supposed lack of conviction in her starring role as Mallory Kane, they did compliment the film on drawing viewers into the action.
On the other hand, dipping one’s feet into music or movies could produce another “Cyborg Soldier” or another shrugged-off array of movies such as those directed by and starring Héctor Echavarría.
Would some fans care? Of course, they would, since a fighter would star or feature themselves in a film.
Sadly, that speaks very little to the overall interest of the cinema buff or the film reviewer, who likely could give a damn about who stars in the film, so long as the overall flow and the technical aspects of the work aid in producing a quality film.
Again, though, we speak subjectively from the pessimistic perspective. We already know of the optimistic perspective because of the positive response to “The Expendables” despite critics voicing their opinions about the plot. Aside from that, Arianny’s album really proves as the first case of an MMA personality trying to make it in the music industry.
Perhaps we should let them do what they wish to do in order to expand their horizons and show that MMA does not boil down to four-ounce gloves and intense action, or perhaps we should hope that these personalities stick to what got them to where they are right now. Which is the correct move?
Who’s to say? At least they still remain in MMA, so that we can enjoy them for yet another day.
Photo: UFC legend Randy Couture (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)