Exclusive: UFC Star Cain Velasquez Hoping to Capture Hispanic Market at NuvoTV

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterJuly 12, 2012

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 29:  UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez of the United States poses for a portrait at Tramway Oval on February 29, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

We don't reference the 2010 United States Census very much at Bleacher Report. That's mainly because many of you come here to escape that sort of government form or spreadsheets of any kind.

Rest assured, though—executives across the sports and entertainment industries were reading very carefully. And what they found may change the landscape of sports in America.

Let's break it down in the simplest way possible. Per the Census, there are 50.5 million U.S. Hispanics, up a staggering 43 percent from the previous polling.

And even better for the UFC and its president, Dana White? According to an ESPN survey, this growing piece of the American melting pot loves mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.

In households that communicate mostly or entirely in Spanish, combat sports are second to soccer. In English-speaking Hispanic households, combat sports trail only soccer and the NFL.

It's a market that is right there waiting to be tapped. And the UFC is barreling forward into that great unknown. But rather than White, the normal figurehead for the company's public outreach, it's former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez leading the charge.

Velasquez and his head coach Javier Mendez continue this MMA evangelism with Fight Factory, a new show premiering next month on nuvoTV, a new network with a large Hispanic audience that is looking to capitalize on the UFC's growing popularity.

Although we've seen reality television in the MMA space—this show comes with its own unique take, offering Hispanic fighters' perspectives as they follow the American Dream. The English-language show takes viewers behind the scenes at the famous AKA Gym in San Jose, providing never-before-seen footage of owner and trainer Mendez and his crew of MMA superstars.

Specifically, the show gives you a look into former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current contender Cain Velasquez as he trains for his upcoming fights. Other fighters featured are Phil Baroni, Jon Fitch, Daniel Cormier and Josh Koscheck.

It should be an interesting show, right in the wheelhouse of the 30 million viewers the station attracts. NuvoTV was created specifically to cater to a new generation of American-Hispanic:

"Most everyone is focused on total U.S. Hispanics, but the real story is the bicultural Latino," said Rafael Oller, the network's senior VP-marketing. "Three out of four speak English well or very well. These bicultural Latinos self-identify as Latino and American and are looking for culturally relevant programming."

Fight Factory premieres August 15 at 10 p.m. on nuvoTV.