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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Though there is some MMA action taking place tonight with the World Series of Fighting 5 on NBCSN, the attention of the combat sports world remains on the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight on pay-per-view. UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez was hanging out with Alvarez before Friday's weigh-ins, UFC President Dana White has been talking the fight up himself for weeks, and the UFC actually went to a number of their fighters to get thoughts on tonight's massive fight.
Three Champs with hispanic heritage gave some differing takes on the fight, which sees Mexico's Alvarez the latest attempting to hand Mayweather - boxing's biggest star and money maker for several years - his first career loss.
Said Velasquez, simply: "I'm going with Canelo, he is very good, and I like his style. I will be supporting him."
UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz mostly sides with Canelo, saying, "I've got Mexican roots and I like Canelo. He's an inside fighter. He's got very good defense, super power punching, never gets tired and he wants it. He's got that look in his eyes, like 'I want to take what Mayweather has done and shatter it.' You can see that. And then you've got a guy like Mayweather, who just believes in himself. Some people call it arrogance, but I call it strength. Mayweather knows he's going to win in his own brain, and he trains hard. He's very focused and he's got so much experience. The biggest tale of this fight is going to be the defense of Mayweather. You can have as much offense as you want but if you have a good enough offense, you're not taking damage. I think Mayweather's going to be able to pull it off. My heart's with Canelo."
UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis wants to pull for him, but sees the fight going to Mayweather: "This is without a doubt the toughest Mayweather fight to call thus far. Normally it would be hard for me to bet against someone who shares my Hispanic heritage but considering Floyd is the best boxer of all time, I have to side with him. Also, one of my Milwaukee-born friends who I train with, Luis Cuba Arias, recently joined Floyd's team. He's been telling me great things about Mayweather's camp leading into this fight. At the end of the day he will just be too fast and elusive for 'Canelo' to handle."
There are even more comments from fighters available at UFC.com.
Penick's Analysis: This is one of those times showcasing how boxing and MMA can coexist, because when it comes down to it, a big fight is a big fight. Tonight's Mayweather-Alvarez event is as big as it gets; it's already set a live gate record in Las Vegas with over $20 million coming in, and it's expected to potentially break pay-per-view records tonight as well. Floyd Mayweather might pocket $100 million from this single fight when all is said and done. It's a big deal, the UFC knows that, and with Dana White leading the way they're anticipating it greatly themselves.
[Cain Velasquez art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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