In the buildup to this Saturday night’s (June 13, 2015) awaited heavyweight title unification bout between Cain Velasquez an Fabricio Werdum, much has been made about ‘Vai Cavalo’s’ controversial insinuation that the champion wasn’t actually a ‘real Mexican,’ but an American who posed as something he was not.

The interim champ originally made the claim on the first episode of the UFC 188 Embedded v-log series, and later explained why he believes that on the third episode. But the brutalizing champion would have none of it on the same show, explaining why he refused to say hello to Werdum the day after he had heard what he said.

Well-known for his extreme pride in his Mexican heritage, Velasquez promised he would ‘whop Werdum’s ass,’ inciting a trove of perceived bad blood between the two champs, real or not. It could certainly be argued that it may not be the best idea to unnecessarily anger the dominant titleholder, especially when he’s about to come off from almost 20 frustrating months out of the cage due to injury.

One man who agrees with that is Velasquez’s AKA teammate Daniel Cormier. During a UFC 188 media day today (Thurs., June 11, 2015), Cormier noted that he thinks ‘Vai Cavalo’ made a big mistake (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“The last guy who said things about Cain was Junior [dos Santos], he said he hits soft. And he got beat up twice. So I think Fabricio would have been better off keeping quiet.”

The UFC light heavyweight champ detailed his understanding of the situation, saying that while he is cool with Werdum, the interim champ should have known better than to take a jab at Velasquez’s cultural legitimacy. According to Cormier, he was always going to lose, but now he’s truly in for it:

“I’ve known Fabricio, I’ve known him for years,” Cormier said. “When I see him I go over and shake his hand. I hadn’t seen that Embedded thing, and I didn’t know what was going on. So, I saw what happened with them and then after, I asked what happened. He explained to me, and I was like, ‘oh s—,”

“He should have just kept his mouth shut. I mean, he was going to lose anyway, but it would have been like Bigfoot [Silva], you take your whooping and you keep moving on.”

Cormier also believes that the constantly joking Werdum may not have any malicious intent with his words, but ultimately he insulted Velasquez’ pride and should not have:

“Fabricio insulted his pride,” Cormier said. “And I bet it was tongue in cheek by Werdum, I bet it wasn’t meant that way, but you don’t say it to that guy.”

Velasquez was already angry after an extremely disappointing series of setbacks, and that was before his pride and heritage were brought into question. Has Werdum created a monster he’ll be unable to control in Mexico City?

Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports