Cain Velasquez met with Mexican boxing star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last month before Alvarez lost a decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
With charisma and looks that brought a strong female audience to supplement his popular brawling nature among men in the blood sport, Alvarez generated with Mayweather a record for pay-per-view sales in the bout.
“Canelo has a big fan base. That’s good, it shows his overall brand is growing, with more people behind him,” said Velasquez, the UFC heavyweight champion whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico.
Velasquez, preparing for the third fight of his Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight-title trilogy against Brazil’s Junior Dos Santos on Saturday night in Houston, would like to draw a massive amount of buys across multiple demographics too.
But from Velasquez’s perspective, UFC fans will spend money to watch the fight for the same reason they typically pay to view: to see a compelling action fight.
The charisma or movie-star looks? Velasquez is leaving that to Canelo and others, including UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
“It’s a male fan-base sport,” Velasquez said. “There are female supporters who watch it, but among those the favorite for looks is someone GSP, those type of guys. Not me, per se.”
At least Velasquez-Dos Santos has proven to be an intriguing match.
In their first fight at Honda Center, the rapid changing of fortune that makes mixed martial arts fighting was on display in a first-round knockout win by Dos Santos.
Velasquez’s more thorough destruction of Dos Santos in the rematch last December is a strong indicator who will emerge as the winner of the trilogy.
“With his punching power and considering it’s an MMA fight, anything can happen,” Velasquez said. “We have to be on form with our offense, defense, technique, for everything that will happen that night.”
Dos Santos clearly has to adjust, whether it be a more developed kick, as he showed in beating Mark Hunt in May, or better wrestling ability against the Arizona State-schooled Velasquez.
“His technique can be a little different -- that’s what he wants, to be more aggressive, throw different stuff, like he did in the Mark Hunt fight,” said Velasquez, who got his second victory over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva the same night in May. “He’ll want to keep the fight standing like he always does, but how he’ll be more aggressive is yet to be determined. I train for everything that we think might come at us.”
Velasquez rocked Dos Santos early in their second fight, and instead of finishing him, pummeled him throughout, leaving damage that may be evident Saturday.
“He’s won one, I’ve won one,” Velasquez said. “This settles it.”
ALSO:Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times