Sunday October 24, 2010
This was the image last night at the end of the epic Lesnar/Velasquez fight. Cain Velasquez ended Brock Lesnar’s dominance over the heavyweight division in the 1st round by TKO to become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion. Lesnar got the beating of his life last night, and the crowd erupted over Velazquez’s astounding victory. Velasquez won not just for himself, but for his family, friends and his fellow Mexicans. HE had the pride of Mexico on his back and made history. Velasquez became the first Mexican heavyweight champion in UFC history. The Cain Velasquez era has begun. I will go in depth on the significance of Velasquez’s victory further but first, let’s take a look at our card.
Tito Ortiz vs. Matt Hamill: the student became the teacher in this light-heavyweight bout. Hamill did enough to earn himself a victory over his mentor. Ortiz tried as best as he could, but it wasn’t enough. It was a hard earned victory for Hamill and a painful defeat for Ortiz. Both were humble afterwards, showing no rivalry between the two after the fight.
Diego Sanchez vs. Paolo Thiago: both men really let everything in the octagon. It was Sanchez’s night as he was relentless in his attack. Sanchez looked impressive in this welterweight bout and dominated Thiago. He might be in line for a title shot in the future.
Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann: this was the most disappointing fight of the night. The co-main event did not live up to the hype, and the judges ruled the bout a split decision victory for Shields. Rule #1: don’t leave the decision up to the judges. Odds are the judges will make the wrong call.
Time for the magic man to take over!
Cain Velasquez is the new UFC Heavyweight Champion. What does the victory mean for the UFC? It means there’s a new sheriff in town, and he just demolished the biggest man on the block. Yet, what does it mean outside the octagon? What does it mean for Mexico?
Velasquez told viewers on UFC Primetime that he was fighting for his heritage as well as himself. The Mexican community embraced Velasquez and cheered for him until the fight was over. Velasquez clearly became the fan favorite. One slight problem could happen: it could be blown out of proportion. It would be the same situation if Mexico’s baseball team won the World Baseball Classic, or their Little League team winning their World Series. People will make too big a deal about this victory because of race. That should not ever be the case.
Velasquez should be known as a well-rounded fighter with an amazing skill set. Instead, people will associate him for being Mexican. This foolish assumption will carry over with fans, but real fans will know. It should never be about one man’s country or heritage, but it should be about the accomplishments of a man’s career. Considering the developments with Mexico over the past year, here’s hoping this doesn’t get out of hand. It’s only early, but it might happen over time.
Copyrighted @ 2007