‘He Could Be Our Puerto Rican Star’ – Dana White Has High Expectations From Miguel Baeza

Published 11/29/2020, 2:44 PM EST
Las Vegas , United States – 6 October 2018; UFC President Dana White during the post fight press conference following UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Miguel Baeza just keeps getting better and better. The UFC welterweight extended his undefeated streak to 10 this past Saturday night. Given his Puerto Rican legacy, Dana White expects him to be the next big thing in MMA out of Puerto Rico.

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With a spot on the main card, Baeza had an opportunity to showcase to the world that he is capable of performing under the bright lights. He did just that by submitting his opponent Takashi Sato late in the second round. The win didn’t just earn him a ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus, but also high praise from the UFC President.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 28: (R-L) Miguel Baeza punches Takashi Soto of Japan in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night at UFC APEX on November 28, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“He’s a bad boy. He looked awesome. He was one of the guys we highlighted going into this week and he came out and delivered tonight,” Dana White said at the post-fight press conference.

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“In this business, we put up the platform for you to go out there and show everybody who you are. What you should do is go out and make people talk about you on Sunday and Monday. He did that tonight,” he added.

Dana White talks about his plans for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has produced a number of great boxers in the past such as Miguel Cotto, Wilfredo Gomez, and Wilfred Benitez. However, when it comes to mixed martial arts, the list isn’t that long. Therefore, Baeza, who delivered on the co-main event slot, could usher the sport into a new dimension in Puerto Rico.

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The UFC supremo had mentioned, back in 2019, that he was targeting to open a PI in Puerto Rico. With the buzz surrounding Baeza, White will aim at utilizing the untapped market.

The kid’s a stud man. 10-0. Puerto Rican. When New York opens up again, get him fighting in New York. I’ve been talking about Puerto Rico too. We’ve talked about going to Puerto Rico a long time ago. I talked about building a Performance Institute in Puerto Rico. He could be the guy. He could be our Puerto Rican star,” White added.

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The win over Sato was the first one via submission for the Dana White’s Contender Series product. Apart from his performance inside the Octagon, Baeza brings with him a certain swagger that should help him in becoming a marketable future star.

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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