Cain Velasquez crowned himself heavyweight champion at UFC 121 this past Saturday after knocking out Brock Lesnar in Anaheim, California. Velasquez became the first Latino UFC heavyweight champ since Ricco Rodriguez in 2002.
Lesnar started the bout going balls to the wall, trying to knock down Velasquez early. But after weathering the initial barrage from Brock, Velasquez took control of the fight and didn’t let up. Velasquez’s punishment was unforgiving and the referee called the fight late in the first round.
After the bout, Velasquez shouted “Todos Latinos… we did it, huh!” In a sense, he was fighting for us, especially after Brock Lesnar made disparaging comments about his heritage (and ours) earlier this week. “When I get done whooping your ass,” Lesnar said, “I’m gonna go drink a Corona and eat a burrito just for your Hispanic heritage. How about that?”
That’s why it was so satisfying watching Lesnar get pummeled. We wanted Velasquez to punch the ignorance out of the big, pasty white guy from Minnesota. We wanted him to eat his words in the form of a knuckle sandwich. A decision victory by Cain wouldn’t have been enough. The only way to appease our bloodlust was to have the man from Salinas, California humble and batter Brock. Cain did not dissapoint.
Immediately after the fight, our brothers over at Cage Potato wondered whether having Cain Velasquez as heavyweight champion would be good for the UFC. We’re willing to say that yes it will. Cultural and ethnic pride really goes a long way.