Although America is known as the world’s melting pot, something as simple as pride in one’s heritage still can ignite a heated spark of discussion.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is often the center of that discussion as the “Brown Pride” tattoo across his chest, coupled with his Mexican heritage, tends to become a focus almost any time he fights. And it did again at the UFC 155 pre-fight press conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.
After fielding numerous questions about fighting for his Mexican fans and being the first UFC Mexican champion, Velasquez was asked if sometimes he grows weary of the talk and just wants to be known Cain Velasquez, the fighter.
His expression seemed to say yes, but Velasquez – who is rarely outspoken – didn’t really hit the question head on, saying instead, “I think my fighting style just kind of speaks for itself. I'm kind of private in everything else, but I just kind of think my fighting speaks for itself.”
UFC president Dana White is another case altogether.
White isn’t known for holding back. In fact, he has risen to prominence as much for his brazen attitude as he has for directing the fight promotion to the top of the mixed martial arts world.
He didn’t hold back when he realized that Velasquez appeared uncomfortable fielding the question about his heritage so often becoming the focal point of the conversation.
“People that have a problem with the ‘Brown Pride' tattoo are morons,” White declared bluntly. “It says ‘Brown Pride.' Big deal; the guy is proud to be Mexican.
“I lived in Boston, every Italian was running around with something Italian on their body, every guy who was Irish had some Irish tattoo on him, and the list goes on and on. It's ridiculous.
“This kind of stuff pisses me off. It's ridiculous.”
The press conference rolled on without much more fire… and the questions about Velasquez’s heritage, and particularly his “Brown Pride” tattoo, faded away.
Cain Velasquez will let his fighting “talk for itself” when he tries to win back the UFC heavyweight belt from the man that took it from him, champion Junior dos Santos, at UFC 155 on Saturday night.