5 Reasons Why Cain Velasquez Will Replace Brock Lesnar as MMA's Biggest Draw
Cain Velasquez is the Heavyweight Champion of the UFC, the premier organization in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. However, the general consensus is that Brock Lesnar is undoubtedly the biggest draw for the promotion. But is the new champion, Cain Velasquez, prepared to overtake the role as the company's biggest star?
The buyrates associated with the events that have included Lesnar have been outstanding:
UFC 87: 625,000
UFC 91: 1,118,000
UFC 100: 1,600,000
UFC 116: 1,160,000
UFC 121: 1,050,000
The reason for this may be that people all over the world are aware of Brock Lesnar, mainly because of his time with the WWE and marketability, due to a larger than life persona, physique and of course talent.
So can Velasquez be his replacement?
Knocked out Brock Lesnar to Become UFC Heavyweight Champion
At UFC 121, Cain Velasquez shocked the world by stopping Brock Lesnar in the first round of their highly anticipated title bout to become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Most MMA insiders and knowledgeable fans believed that Velasquez would provide a stiff challenge but not even his biggest supporter could have envisaged the beat down that followed. Not only did Velasquez win the striking exchanges unexpectedly, but Lesnar, a former NCAA Division-I Wrestling Champion, could not keep him grounded.
Velasquez had worked specifically on his scrambling for this particular scenario and it worked to devastating effect as he was relentless never letting Brock recover over putting him away. The trainers of his team, American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) had predicted pre-fight that his superior technique, speed and cardio would be too much for Lesnar and they were proved emphatically right.
This win not only made Velasquez the new undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion it put him on the map in terms of worldwide acclaim and took the immortal invincibility associated with Lesnar.
Headlining the First and Monumental, UFC on FOX Event
On August 18 2011, the UFC signed a 7 year deal with FOX the No.1 television network in the United States. This deal not only put the UFC on par with the premier sports organisations in the country but is also their first venture into network television, further facilitating the move into the mainstream and taking the already rapid growth of the sport to the next level.
The UFC subsequently announced that the UFC Heavyweight Title fight between Cain Velasquez vs. Junior "Cigano" Dos Santos, would headline the first UFC on FOX show on November 12. This is a super-fight to say the least and will receive huge coverage and therefore publicity for both the fighters involved including a "UFC Primetime" that will air on October 30 on FOX in a lead up to the bout.
As UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez shall get huge notoriety especially considering this fight marks his first title defense and return to the Octagon since tearing his rotater cuff in the UFC 121 victory over Brock Lesnar. Expect the winner to become one of the, if not the biggest draw on what will be a historic network television UFC on FOX event.
Hispanic Fan Base
Cain Velasquez has a massive following in his native Mexico and in Latin America and with the recently concluded UFC 134 in Brazil and plans to have a show in Mexico expect this popularity to keep growing. The Mexican-American has always been true to his heritage and always wears the flag round his fist as a gesture of taking this pride with him into battle.
The image of the "Yes We Cain" before his UFC 121 title fight sticks in the mind, as does the passionate support he received at the fight which was nothing short of incredible.This will only rise considering the launch of UFCLatino.com in April 2011, in addition to the already available UFCEspanol and a media partnership with Univision.
Furthermore, statistics show Hispanics constitute 20 percent of the sport’s key male 18-34 demographic whilst 40 percent of Hispanic males 18-34 are avid UFC fans.
This appeal to the Hispanic demographic is the culmination of aggressive efforts by the UFC, which seeks to both represent and grow the sport of mixed martial arts, with UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, at the forefront of this movement.
Cain Velasquez Is the Total MMA Package
Still only 29 and undefeated at 9-0 in MMA including 8 knockouts with only 1 fight going to Decision, the future certainly looks bright for the current UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Under the guidance of head trainer Javier Mendez, at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) he is a former NCAA Division 1 All-American, a brown-belt in Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu, has nasty stand-up kickboxing and an insatiable appetite to improve his game, highlighted by the fact that there are literally no flaws in this fantastic all-round fighter.
Velasquez is known to have to be dragged out of the gym such is his work ethic and is known to do fast paced training. This includes ten round fights in practice leading to the widespread belief that he has the best cardio in the heavyweight division, if not the UFC in general.
Statistics show Cain Velasquez's heart rate maxes out at 167 BPM, extremely low, on par with elite endurance athletes. His left-hook on ESPN's Sports Science registered at 2230 lbs of force, a harder punch than any boxer or MMA athlete ever measured and his takedown generates 5000 watts of power in his hips and 2700 lbs of force, on par with NFL defensive pro Dwight Freeney.
Great Ambassador for the Sport of MMA
In addition to all the aforementioned factors, Velasquez is very modest, humble, soft-spoken and comes across as a true gentleman.
His renowned work ethic and persistence is a result of lessons taught by his father, Efrain who was forced to work strenously in pursuing his dream of moving to the United States in the search for a better life for his family. Cain has not forgotten this never quit attitude and applies the same principles to his training and fights in the octagon without losing track of his roots reflected in his kind demeanour.
"It's just how we live," Velasquez said. "We are hardworking people and that translates into whatever we do. In athletics, we will put on a show. Such values and his behaviour shows an appreciation and understanding of the significance of being a positive role-model for both the Hispanic community and the Sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
Cain Velasquez is the most probable and perfect candidate to replace Brock Lesnar as the biggest draw of the UFC in MMA not just inside, but even outside the octagon.