Nashville-Produced Song Hits Hard on MMA Stage – “Gladiator” Now Available on iTunes

“Gladiator” is Also Theme Song to TV Series “Gladiators Unleashed” featuring Gaethje and Luke “Lil Hulk” Caudillo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Ammoland.Com) – Multi-platinum producer, Mike Hartnett, didn’t realize a song, “Gladiator,” he produced with singer Michael Connors and songwriter Jim Kinsey would be a smash hit in the literal sense. “Gladiator” caught the attention of lightweight titleholder, Justin Gaethje (14-0) who is walking out to it at the World Series of Fighting 23 (WSOF) on September 18 in Phoenix, Az. to defend his title against Luis Palomino. “Gladiator” was created by multi-platinum producer Mike Hartnett along with songwriter and musician Michael Connors, songwriter and TV producer, Jim Kinsey and mixed by Nashville engineer, Billy Decker.

Gladiator SongListen to “Gladiator” now available on iTunes, Amazon and more here:

“I’ve been working with Connors and Kinsey for some time and when they approached me about laying down a beat for a hard metal MMA song, it didn’t take Connors and I long to start the guitar riff and add a beat as the lyrics Kinsey and Connors wrote were crushing it,” said Hartnett. “Connors is a very talented singer-songwriter with that hard edge, which is a perfect fit for ‘Gladiator.’”

Gaethje heard “Gladiator” with its raw lyrics and aggressive beat during a session with his coach, Luke “Lil Hulk” Caudillo, who played it as the intro song for his outdoor TV show titled “Gladiators Unleashed.”

“As soon I heard the riff and lyrics, I knew this was the song for me,” said Gaethje. “The mix is just right to get me pumped up for a fight and push my adrenaline to the edge. I am proud to be a part of Caudillo’s TV show, ‘Gladiators Unleashed’ and can’t wait to share more of that show with my fans and media soon.”

“Gladiator” was inspired by another MMA ‘fight song’ called “Open the Cage,” which was also written by Hartnett, Connors and Kinsey plus singer/songwriter James Breedwell and mixed by Skidd Mills. According to Kinsey who says he’s a huge MMA/UFC fan, “Open the Cage” was inspired by nine-time UFC champion Matt Hughes and the end result is a smash hit. “A friend of mine heard ‘Open the Cage’ and said he needed something with a similar vibe for a MMA TV show, called ‘Gladiators Unleashed.’” said Jim Kinsey, songwriter and outdoor TV producer. “I went to work writing the lyrics and then worked closely with Connors to refine those lyrics to what they are today. The melody came quick and the rest is history. We’ve received major interest in the song from several entities for synch licensing and more.”

“Working on this song started as a request for Caudillo’s TV show, but I said we needed to get to the core of what is an MMA fighter and the lyrics took some turns to what we have today,” commented Connors. “This is a whole new territory that I’ve always wanted to get into as I’m a metal head living in the center of Nashville – I get to stretch my creative muscle.”

Gaethje is walking out to “Gladiator” during the WSOF 23 main event on September 18 in Phoenix, Az. and airing live on NBC Sports when he takes on Luis Palomino for the title lightweight match.

“To have a song inspired by MMA fighters and fans is a pretty special thing and I’m glad to help introduce it to the world,” commented Gaethje.

Both songs are now available on iTunes, Amazon and other major other music service platforms.


Mike Hartnett is a multi-platinum producer with more than 30 years experience as a musician, engineer and producer. He’s the “first-call” for talent on the forefront of today’s music scene working with scores of A-list talents including, Fergie, Yelawolf, Cee Lo Green, Travis Barker, Rehab, Lil’ Wayne, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Nelly, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, OutKast, Pink, Talib Kweli, Enrique and more. His most recent project has been working on Yelawolf’s latest album with the hit single “Till it’s Gone,” which was recently used in the new feature film trailer with Johnny Depp called “Black Mass.”


Michael Connors is a Nashville based singer/songwriter known for engaging stage performances. As a guitar slinger Connors delivers a range of styles including metal, hard rock and all genres of country. He was an accomplished guitarist at age seventeen and began to learn to compose, write and sing, as he knew becoming a performing artist was his destiny. Inspiration from Metallica, Zakk Wylde from Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society and James Hetfield are why he started shredded guitar. Connors has been collaborating with famed Nashville producer Mike Hartnett for the past three years and will soon release a collection of songs they have written and produced. Learn more at and


Jim Kinsey is an award-winning filmmaker based out of western Montana. As the executive producer of Skull Bound TV, airing its fifth season on the Sportsman Channel, Kinsey travels around the globe capturing adventures on film, which has inspired his songwriting career. He’s currently wrapping up production on a new song for Kryptek Outdoor Group called “Overcome” and one for one for NEMO Arms called “Blackout.” Learn more Kinsey at, and