“Chip Rickwilder’s Flawless Entrance to Professional Cage Fighting,” by Alex Dermody

Apr 20th, 2021 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

This is it you son of a bitch, your first walk to the ring as a professional cage fighter. I bet Gretchen’s chin is on the floor right now. When my walkout song starts playing, I might pull my hair out. This is why you trained for twenty years. Kids in school thought you were a loser for doing Jiu Jitsu instead of playing football. Yeah, well how does my Louis Vuitton cape look in HD? Listen to that rowdy packed house. They’re not ready for my song. It’s too perfect. My brother Sebastian and my trainer Zeke McNaughty are next to me in the tunnel, looking buff and tough, just like I imagined. Where the hell is my song? I can’t wait to be on the jumbotron. Yesterday no one knew your name, but tomorrow—

YES. Here we go! I knew this was the perfect walkout song. Sebastian said “Nookie” by Limp Bizkit was a bad choice, but he looks like an ass right now. Slap hands with fans as you pass them. The acoustics in this arena are stupendous. Concert quality speakers make such a difference. That guitar sounds so sinister it makes me wanna run into traffic. The crowd is looking at one another and they’re all like, no way. Are you joking? Did Chip Rickwilder pick the perfect walkout song? They probably think I’m the coolest man on the planet, which I’m not, but I understand why they would think that.

I’m on the jumbotron. Chip Rickwilder, a man who worked at Dick’s Sporting Goods only a few months ago, he’s on the jumbotron. Why does my face look puffy? I would’ve moisturized this morning if I knew the cameras would be zoomed in so close. It makes me happy to know I’m walking to the octagon and Chaz Maxwell, the now out of shape gym teacher who teased me in seventh grade, is sitting on a sofa with his pig of a wife watching this. Drink it in, Tabitha, a cashier at the smoothie shop next to my gym who turned me down for a date. I can’t wait to watch my entrance online later. I can’t wait to read the comments. “Has there ever been a better walk to the ring? Asking for a friend!” one will say. “Did anyone else notice Chip rocking the Louis V cape? SO dope.” another will say.

And now, the moment everyone’s been waiting for—the chorus. The drums in this song are malicious, villainous, perfect, just like my entrance. What even is a Limp Bizkit? I should reach out to Fred Durst after this to see if he wants to hangout. Pound your chest like an angry gorilla. That’s it. Now toss your bandana to the cute chick in the front row. Niiice. She’s lucky it’s sweaty. I feel like a hired hitman. No. I’m a classically trained ninja. No. I’m the Pope on his balcony looking out at all his followers. Pop off the hood of your cape. Shake your curly hair for the cameras. Yes, you nailed that. Point at a random section in the arena and wink. Fantastic.

The end of the road is dead ahead. The cage is calling out, “Chip! Chip! Enter with flair!” This is the cork popping off the champagne bottle. This is the fireworks at the end of Independence Day. Look up at the rafters and howl like a man raised by wolves. Rip off your cape, throw it into the crowd. Sprint to the mesh fence and vault yourself into the spotlight. Yes, up and over. Land on the balls of your feet. Throw a few jabs. Throw an uppercut. Throw a few sidekicks. Raise your arms above your head, Mr. Balboa. You deserve the glory.

You did it, you crazy son of a bitch, I mean you really did it. The perfect ring walk. These people paid good money and you delivered an unforgettable performance. Take a bow. No, take two bows. If this was a Broadway play, you’d be knee deep in roses. Zeke’s calling me over to my corner. Blow a kiss to the cameras before you swagger over to your team. Stick out your tongue. Make a pillow with your hands and pretend to take a nap.

“Stop showboating and lemme talk to you,” Zeke shouts over the crowd.

“What the hell?” I say. “They cut my song off with over a minute left.”

Mouth hanging slightly open, Zeke slaps me hard across the cheek. “We need to fight our fight,” Zeke shouts. “Remember what we practiced in camp. Work his legs. Get him tired. Take this fight deep, and we can win this thing.”

“His feet, work his feet,” I say. “Remember to practice.”

Zeke looks at me as if I’m speaking Mandarin.

Across the ring sitting on a stool of his own is my opponent, Tony “Bone Saw” Malone. He’s built like a rhinoceros. Bulging shoulders. Boulders for biceps. Tree trunk legs. He’s looking at me with dead eyes, and his teeth are gnashed into an ugly snarl.

I bet Bone Saw is scared shitless after watching the show I just put on.


Alex Dermody has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance for fighting cavities, gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath. Alex is dentist recommended, laboratory tested, and is made from all-natural ingredients. He comes in several flavors including spearmint, cinnamon, and (for the upscale nutjobs out there) zesty Italian lemon. Alex works especially well for people with sensitive teeth, and for people looking to whiten their smile. He can be purchased online for the very reasonable price of $5.99, and can be contacted at alexdermody15@gmail.com.

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