Hard-working Velasquez honored to represent Mexican people at UFC on Fox

Steve Cofield

Mexican pride has a deep history in the fight game, so it's no surprise that tomorrow's big UFC on Fox main event between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos is slowly  developing into a Mexico vs. Brazil affair. It's no different than boxing where a large group of Mexican fans are backing Juan Manuel Marquez tomorrow night in his quest to finally get a win against Filipino Manny Pacquiao.

Mexicans love their fighting.

"I just represent hard-working people," Velasquez told the Orange County Register. "That's what my family is. That's what I've grown up around. I'm happy that the Mexicans are known as hard-working people. We live our life with a lot of heart. I try to use that in my fighting. I fight with a lot of heart, with a lot of blood. I'm always going forward. That's what it means to me."

UFC president Dana White says he understands why Mexicans and Mexican-Americans admire Velasquez.

"I don't think we're putting a lot of emphasis on the Hispanic community. He is Hispanic and the Hispanic community is (supporting him), but we're trying to reach everybody," White said. "Yeah, I think it's a big deal. When you think about it in the history of combat sports, this is the only heavyweight champion ever as far Mexican champions go. It's a big deal."

On fight nights Velasquez pays homage to his heritage with his walkout music.

The champion never wants to forget the sacrifice made by his parents.{ysp:more}

"At first, I chose the song as my walk-out music to honor my father," Velasquez said. "My dad dreamed of coming to America and once he got here he worked so hard so I would have a better life.  Watching my parents work so hard every day and not complain, even though they were doing back-breaking jobs, I took that work ethic and applied it to my own life. The song is about places in Mexico that my dad actually crossed coming to the U.S."

Velasquez said he's heard the appreciation from Mexican fans.

"It is very special to me, but what's surprised me is other Mexican-Americans would come up to me and say 'I did the same thing' or 'my parents did that too,' so it has become a very meaningful song for me."