UFC 121 Preview: Cain Velasquez Is a Great Fighter, but Not a Marketable Fighter

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2010

UFC heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez is a man of few words, literally.

In hopes of attracting a wider audience for UFC 121, and for Velasquez, UFC aired a special called UFC Primetime showing an in-depth look at the training and personal lives of UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez.

What the show has done is not only shown how much of a physical specimen Lesnar really is, but also how much personality he carries. Furthermore, it's evident that Velasquez's personality is about as amusing as watching paint dry.Velasquez is viewed as a quiet and simple man, who comes from a blue collar background and does his job to support his family, and then returns home.

While he isn't highly entertaining to watch, at least the montages of him training at American Kickboxing Academy show how dedicated he is to the sport, but that's about it.

The majority of the time Velasquez is training and he hardly says a word, while his trainers voice their opinions on the AKA fighter.

Other than that, the spotlight shines brightly on Lesnar.

UFC has failed in an attempt to lure a fanbase for Velasquez, as much as they've tried to market him as potentially becoming the first Mexican-American UFC champion, the company's marketing ploy seems unoriginal and desperate. Some guys just have natural charisma or that "it" factor and unfortunately Velasquez doesn't have it.

It's understandable that the UFC is trying to promote the ethnic angle for all it's worth, but it's all there is to sell. And for Lesnar, his market value is a lot easier to sell partially because he comes from a sports entertainment background.

And perhaps it might be easier to not get caught up in the media considering Velasquez is a quiet individual who prefers the gym over the spotlight, but Lesnar takes advantage of the opportunity to sell the fight and understands his role in the company.

For a guy who chooses to do his talking in the Octagon, it wouldn't be a wise decision for Velasquez to be less vocal among the media, especially when he isn't a huge draw to begin with. If Velasquez does indeed win the title, it might be an accomplishment to add to his resume, but it might not enhance his popularity too much and it would put a damper in the company's plans.

It would be even less intriguing if Velasquez is to defend his title against rising heavyweight Junior Dos Santos, as neither fighter is capable of pulling in big numbers for the company because they lack personality.

The reality is that the UFC heavyweight division would not be as marketable or appealing to the casual fan without Lesnar's presence.

For the company's benefit, keeping the heavyweight strap around Lesnar would be a smart investment, whether he is a good fighter or not.

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