It’s not very often that I break news here on Doc Octagon. In fact, I don’t think it’s ever actually happened. For that matter, I think the only thing that’s ever been broken by this blog is my own hopes and dreams of success. But all that is changing now. After watching the UFC 155 press conference featuring Dana White, Junior dos Santos, and Cain Velasquez being asked a lot of useless questions by the regular MMA media, I can officially report three things: (1) Cain Velasquez comes from a Mexican family, (2) he has a “Brown Pride” tattoo, and (3) members of the MMA media still care and like to make a big deal about it.
The same thing has happened virtually every time Cain has been in a big fight in the UFC. Leading up to the bout, people go on and on about how he is going to lead the UFC into Mexico (still hasn’t happened) and how he may alienate a lot of mainstream viewers because of his “Brown Pride” tattoo. Unsurprisingly, this was an overarching theme in today’s press conference, as it always is, with Karyn Bryant bringing up the tattoo. Also unsurprisingly, this line of questioning angered White, as he dismissed it as ridiculous. It was clear that Cain was also annoyed by the line of questioning, and didn’t really make an effort to get into ethnic relations.
I have no doubt that some Mexicans can relate to Velasquez and root for him because of the fact that he is one of the only people of direct Mexican descent in high-level MMA. At the same time, the UFC has gone out of its way to promote his heritage in the past, so White and company can’t really be annoyed that the topic comes up every time he is in a big fight. Until the UFC actually breaks into Mexico, the questions will be fair game, especially considering White’s promises to move into the market. So that part of the equation doesn’t bother me.
However, that is where the attention should stop. The fact that there are still people suggesting that Cain’s tattoo is going to turn off viewers really is ridiculous and narrow minded. Sure, little old ladies in the Midwest might be put off by the tattoo and might not purchase a UFC event that is headlined by Velasquez. But, guess what? They weren’t going to buy the pay per view anyways, and are likely equally as offended by athletes in all sports, and young people in general. And guess what else? The UFC doesn’t care about these people. You might be able to argue that a sponsor might be equally turned off but, if Velasquez keeps winning and builds enough of a following, I don’t see anyone turning down a money-making opportunity because of a fighter’s ink. I mean, jeez, a dripping penis-sword tattoo never stopped Brock Lesnar from making the UFC (and himself) trucks full of money.
So everyone that is blessed enough to go to UFC press conferences: for the love of God please don’t waste time talking about the Brown Pride tattoo! You have the coolest job in the world and get to travel to Las Vegas to cover these things: don’t waste the opportunity with stupidity!
P.S. I love when MMA media members phrase their dumb questions about Cain’s tattoo (and similar useless issues) with something like, “Do you think people might care?” That is a grade A way to turn something into a story that has no business being a story, and it happens all the time. When people start openly caring, then it can be a story. Until then, it’s ridiculous, and don’t bother asking during the official press conference.