Mexican fighter Erik Perez pleaded and pleaded with UFC president Dana White hoping that he would be able to showcase his proud heritage when walking to the octagon at UFC 155. Perez wanted to wear a luchador mask, which he was unable to do for his organizational debut, during his entrance on Saturday night and White finally came around to the idea.
White was initially turned off by the idea because he thought it would become another gimmick to attract attention to the fighter.
[RELATED: Video: UFC 155 weigh-ins]
“You guys know how I feel about guys acting like idiots walking out to the octagon; I can’t stand it,” White said. “You’re going in there to fight. This isn’t pro wrestling. But he’s got a reason for why he does it, and they sat down, they explained it to me, and I’m cool with it. All the other goofy s— that happens? I can’t stand it. To explain to you how painful it is for me to sit there and watch a guy walk 25 feet to the octagon acting like a moron, it hurts me. It hurts me, and I can’t stand it.”
But it was after looking more into the history of the mask that White warmed up to the idea of allowing Perez to wear the luchador mask.
“Those masks, Mexican wrestlers used to wear them, but it’s a warrior thing, and they explained it to me. I can live with that. If it makes sense to me – and you’re just not acting like an idiot trying to come up with a different spiel every time you walk, and that’s your thing – I’m cool with that.”
Now, with UFC 155 finally among us, we got our first look at Perez in his luchador mask during Friday evening’s weigh-ins. Here is Perez breaking out his new luchador mask:
It’s great to see Dana White warm up to the idea and allowing fighters to showcase their heritgae, pride and personalities during their entrances. While you don’t want to turn things into too much of a spectacle, allowing traditional symbolism to accompany the fighters will hurt no one.