One of the biggest angles played up leading into UFC 121 in Anaheim has been race: Cain Velasquez is looking to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight UFC champion. Many experts and fighters are picking Velasquez to win, thinking that Brock Lesnar was exposed against Shane Carwin, and that Cain’s combination of cardio and excellent wrestling skills will be enough for him to take down Lesnar. Alan Hull, writing here at LBS, agrees about Cain’s wrestling background, but still believes Lesnar’s size advantage will be the difference. If Velasquez does win the fight, he will be doing it for his country.
The UFC has gone into Canada and Europe for fight cards but never Mexico. One would figure the country would lap it up considering their affection towards boxing and maybe that will be the case. We do know that’s what Velasquez is aiming for, saying pre-fight “The Latin people here in the U.S. and the Mexicans in Mexico need a champion. For us, we have a rich tradition in boxing and to not have a Mexican heavyweight champ is unheard of. We need it.”
Targeting the Mexican people has been an excellent marketing push and it remains to be seen if they will respond with pay-per-view buys. If so, it will help give Cain more clout as the UFC heavyweight champion should he win the fight. I don’t think he will, and instead I think we’ll see someone drinking Coronas and eating burritos afterward.Google+