UFC Merges the WEC Into Their Brand to Add Featherweight and Bantamweight Divisions
UFC Adds Featherweight and Bantamweight Divisions
UFC ALSO ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH VERSUS TO AIR FOUR FIGHTS IN 2011
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – In a media conference call today, Ultimate Fighting Championship® President Dana White announced the UFC is adding two new championship divisions at bantamweight (135lbs.) and featherweight (145lbs.), while also announcing a new television deal with the VERSUS Network to air four UFC fights in 2011.
“As the UFC continues to evolve and grow globally, we want to be able to give fans title fights in every weight division,” said White. “This is a big day for the sport and the athletes who will have the opportunity to fight on the biggest stage in the world.”
The two new divisions feature WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo who will now be recognized as the reigning UFC featherweight champion, and WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. White confirmed that the winner of the Dec. 16 lightweight title fight between WEC champion Ben Henderson and top contender Anthony Pettis live on VERSUS will take on the winner of the UFC 125 main event title bout between champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. This upcoming fight will serve as a UFC lightweight title unification bout to be held next year.
White also stated the UFC is expanding its presence on the VERSUS Network in 2011, and will increase its number of UFC events from two to four per year. Versus is scheduled to air the two remaining live WEC events in 2010 on Nov. 11 and Dec. 16. The Nov. 11 event in Las Vegas will feature “The California Kid” Urijah Faber’s debut at bantamweight as he takes on Takeya Mizugaki, while the Dec. 16 event in Glendale, Ariz. will feature Henderson-Pettis and a bantamweight title clash between Dominick Cruz and challenger Scott Jorgensen with the winner becoming the new UFC bantamweight champion.
“We have a great relationship with the VERSUS network, and we look forward to working with them to give UFC fans even more free fights in 2011,” said White.
Ariel Helwani has an interview with the UFC president Dana White here
YouTube - Exclusive: Dana White Announces UFC-WEC Merger
Interest matchup possibilities now. So much talent under the UFC banner now. How do you guys feel about this?
Last edited by PizDoff; 10/28/2010 1:26pm at .
Total Comments 11
10/28/2010 3:02pm, #2
10/28/2010 3:46pm, #3
Over all I think it’s a good thing. It will bring much more attention / recognition to the lighter wieght fighters (135 and 145 lbs). Some of the less talented 155ers might find themselves pushed out however.
10/28/2010 3:46pm, #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
- Richmond, VA
Good, but bad. I feel like the WEC was such a success because they didn't follow the "Lose twice and you're out" which caused the fighters to always leave it in the cage. It's good because the exposure for the Bantam and Feather weight divisions fighters will be increased also they'll get paid more. This is also interesting because more fights can occur on a card, more quality events (if UFC plays it right), and more talent. I feel like this is a move to counter Bellator's rising success.
10/28/2010 5:08pm, #5
I always skip WEC on TV, but I rarely miss UFC pay-per views. This merger interests me, especially since I use to compete at 135lbs in BJJ.
10/29/2010 3:32am, #6
I'm happy with the merger. Having these divisions more exposed is good for the sport. Some of the most exciting fights I've seen were WEC. Donald Cerrone and Ben Henderson (holy crap), nearly every fight with Jose Aldo or Miguel Torres...Just tons of great fighters and great fights.
For some reason these guys seem to let it all hang out a little more. Maybe it's what David Koresh said about the 2 and out policy; whatever the reason the fights seem to be less about not losing, and more about winning."Never trust a quote you read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln
10/29/2010 6:17am, #7
The blinding speed that these fights go at is always pretty cool to watch."We often joke -- and we really wish it were a joke -- that you will only encounter two basic problems with your 'self-defense' training.
1) That it doesn't work
2) That it does work"
10/29/2010 8:20am, #8
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
I don't get VERSUS, so I highly approve of this. Good for the lightweight guys too -- lots of talent there and they usually make for exciting fights.
10/29/2010 4:30pm, #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
I'm not sure if its just a running joke or an actual policy but the 2 and you're out rule sounds like it could **** the WEC bantam and feather weight divisions. The fighters could turn into more UFC style competitors, i.e fight to not lose. So this could easily be a bad thing. Just sayin...
10/30/2010 8:09am, #10
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
I'm mostly happy the smaller fighters get to fight on the big stage, it's good for them personally.
So bottom line, I approve of this action.