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Should the WEC have lighter weights only?

The WEC is about to televise the biggest fight in it’s history between featherweight champion Urijah Faber and top contender Jens Pulver. Ticket sales for the fight leading up to the fight have been very strong (ahead of EliteXC’s debut), and the pre-fight hype has been very solid as well.

Faber and Pulver bring something different to the cage than the UFC does – they weigh-in at 145 lbs. The UFC does not offer that. This gives the WEC a special niche. By having Faber and Pulver highlighted in the main event, the WEC does not have to take a backseat to the UFC. They have two of the top fighters in the featherweight weight class squaring off.

Should Zuffa continue to differentiate the product between the WEC and UFC? I think yes. There’s no need to have a WEC light heavyweight title because there are many lighter weight classes than don’t have a major American championship that can be highlighted in that spot. Why have the 20th and 21st best light heayweights fight it out when you could see two top five flyweights?

One of the men fighting in the main event this weekend agrees that this is the direction the WEC should go.

There should be lighter weights in the WEC and heavier weights in the UFC,” Pulver said, “Give the little guys a home. I believe that is what they (Zuffa) are going to do.”

One thing the WEC has done very well is deliver strong, action-packed shows. By continuing to showcase more and more of the lighter weights, the WEC will increase its profile and it’s fanbase.

  • slimm says:

    Gary, does it suprise you or anyone that the WEC sales are more than Elite XC?? the card of the WEC is great not to mention that the main event has the possibilities of being a instant classic compared to Slice v Thompson…. we will also get a 2nd title fight in the Torres fight let alone Curran fighting and also COWBOYYYYYYYY (tapout guys, sorry) so the WEC card shoud be the draw of the weekend and absolutely is for me……

    what the hell will they do with their 205ers?? move them to the UFC ya that will work only if they use each and everyone of them a “gatekeepers” Stann ya um who could he beat in the UFC?? Rhino same thing…. the LHW division is soo stacked in the UFC it is really inasane i wouldnt know what to do with the LHW division of the WEC… hell put Stann againsy Lyoto someones O gotta go thing whatever….. WEC will become a home for the “smaller”guys forsure as well as it should they are the most entertaining in that orginazation…… sooo essentially when the WEC desides what to do with Stann and Rhino then it is simply up to the “little” guys to carry that org which i believe will bring great success… especially if they somehow get Hellboy, Alverez, JZ, Aoki,Kid,Lion ect. wouldnt that be special….. these guys wont (or havent been offered to go to the UFC what about WEC they seem more leinant) and hey Gomi in WEC then to UFC v BJ or GSP hell just a random thought….. i will be @ WEC 34 in person and im pumped cheers……….

  • DPK says:

    But are Faber, and Pulver getting paid like two guys fighting for a title would on a UFC card? Even if they are getting paid by Zuffa the same amount, I doubt they are making as much in sponsorship that they would if this fight was happening on PPV or another big UFC brand card.

    I personally think UFC should bring in the 135, and 145 division and help get these great fighters the exposure and compensation they deserve, while at the same time improving the UFC brand. You can’t tell me that this fight wouldn’t look good at UFC 85 right now.

    It also makes no sense that Zuffa has Anderson Silva destroying the MW division, while it has Paulo Filho a top 2 or 3 middleweight under contract and working for another company.

    I don’t think Zuffa should get rid of WEC, but I think it could be used as a deveopmental organization, where a weeding out process could take place before guys make it to the big UFC show (I know they already do this to a point, but I’m talking about all weight classes). UFC’s HW division needs help, this is where WEC could really pay off, by giving Zuffa another place to try out young promising HW’s. They could also use the TV deal to build some hype behind some of these young guys fighting for UFC for the first. time.

  • Jason S. says:

    “I don’t think Zuffa should get rid of WEC, but I think it could be used as a deveopmental organization, where a weeding out process could take place before guys make it to the big UFC show”

    DPK I agree with your statement. The one thing to take into consideration is that from a company’s standpoint why would you want to take what seems to be their main drawing power (The light weight divisions) and send it over to the UFC which clearly has enough studs to consistantly draw solid numbers in PPV and live gate sales?

    WEC has come a long way as an organization. Hell, I remember the first time I herd of the WEC about 2 years ago and it amazes me how much its grown. If Zuffa was to pull the Lighter divisions up to the UFC your pretty much cutting the legs out from under that organization. Zuffa should continue with all weight classes featured in the WEC and use the Heavier Weight Classes as proving grounds for fighters getting into the UFC. Another Idea is to send fighters from UFC to WEC after they lost 2 in a row or seem to be just not producing on the big stage. Why cut a talented fighter who’s lost a couple to big name guys. Send him to the WEC and see if he sinks or swims.

    Go Pulver!!!

  • matt says:

    Gary, I like this idea with the lighter weights, but in reality that would leave either the WEC with 2-3 divisions. If they are to focus on the lighter weights why not move the UFC lightweight division to the WEC. This benefits 2 fold. 1. you give the company a weightclass that the general public recognize. 2. on the business end, you will draw ratings as fights such as tyson griffin/faber II can happen. Having only the Featherweight, Bantamweight, and Flyweight doesn’t have as much appeal, as people don’t recognize any fighters beyond Faber/Pulver/Torres.

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    #3- I think the primary reason for shifting the 35 and 45 over to UFC is to draw in some of the int’l names, making the UFC the complete draw for all MMA fighters worldwide.
    Then shifting the ‘minor league’ or up and comers into WEC gives time to groom fighters fresh out of TUF and the UFC/Zuffa has a pretty complete package.
    Looking at the ‘Bedlam’ card, it would surely be bolstered by having one or two title fights, and if the 35 and 45 were present from WEC, there is a possibility that every single PPV would have a title defense throughout the year. Seven different belts gives way more flexibility in the case of injury or scandal than five belts. Plus, the belts being potentially ‘added’ to UFC have some phenomenal names globally, as mentioned earlier.

  • Nate says:

    WEC should be a feeder. Bring the big fights to the UFC. Add the weight class to the UFC. Newbie fans wont really understand it, but the fights will be awesome & that makes up for it.

    I dont see how any MMA fan is going to miss the Fights June 1st. Torres, Faber, Pulver is just too freaking good to miss up.

    Though maybe I should shut up.. I get to watch for FREE!!

  • Nate says:

    PS Jason I like the idea of sending fighters that have lost a few fights to the WEC and then when they win a few, bring them back.

    It would increase the popularity of WEC and UFC if they did that. And make it easier for people to follow their favorite fighters, even if they have lost a little.

  • Nick says:

    i agree with Matt and have had the same thoughts about the UFC moving it’s lightweight division down to WEC….i think the only thing stopping them is that fact that it might make WEC even more popular and more watchable than UFC itself!

    i am learning to love the lighter weight classes and can’t wait to see more top fighters come to WEC.

  • paddiosf says:

    I’m sorry guys the WEC has one huge Star in Faber, and they do have Condit and Torres but those guys still really unknown to the the average fan..I still think the Zuffa should bring the current fighters over to the UFC..Faber once he’s down with Pulver, who’s left for him to fight?…There isn’t enough talent over there, or bring over more of the realesed contract fighters from the UFC over…

  • platypus says:

    problem is, what about ppl like larson, stann, and condit

  • Jason S. says:

    After the Faber fight, if Faber wins, I don’t see why you couldn’t cross promote. Hell its still within the same company! Faber vs Griffin 2 is a great example. You can choose fighters from the UFC that will still pose a challenge to the WEC Champs but still keep the big dogs for the UFC cards. With Jardine’s loss to Silva he a little ways from earning a title shot. Yet, he’s still a big name and I think would pose a threat to Stann. Condit vs Deigo Sanchez is another example. Plus, if Zuffa really wants to monopolize the fighter market, have their fighters earn their way back into the UFC by fighting in WEC. I really don’t see how Zuffa can loose!

  • bjjdenver says:

    I don’t think they should necessarily get rid of the higher weights, but they should not put much emphasis on them.

    IMO, the lower weights are far more populated by high level fighters. There are tons of guys fighting around the world at 145, 155 and to some extent 170. Few shows are lacking in viable talent at those weights.

    However, above that, 185, 205 (except UFC) and HW are somewhat thin. Keep the classes, in order for UFC to “send down” and develop some fighters they don’t want gone completely.

    On a marketing note, i would loved to have seen the Faber/Pulver fight at UFC 85. This would have really cross promoted their brand and given Faber some much needed exposure against a big UFC fan favorite in pulver.

  • demie says:

    I wouldn’t hurt WEC to get rid of MW and LHW, just like they did with heavyweight. UFC could use all of that talent, even though these fighters probably wouldn’t last in UFC.

    I always felt like WEC should get a super-heavyweight division since it’s clear that UFC doesn’t want one. Former Pride freakshows who can’t find work in Japan would have a home there, and they would look really huge to the audience, with the nearest weight class being 205lbs (or less if they take my advice).

  • Superheavyweights in WEC? Would be very interesting. I think they may look to strange being packaged on the same card as guys under 150lbs, but it still as some intriguing potential.

  • mike wolfe says:

    They should develop both orgs in all weight classes the best they can. Hell, seperate the management of the two orgs and encourage a rivalry between them. AFC v. NFC gave us the Super Bowl, and National League v. American League gave us the World Series. Why not an inter league championship between the fighters from each org.?

  • steve says:

    I like my sports fast… hockey, ping pong, maglev train racing– that sort of thing. Watching vicious little warriors teleport around the cage makes the light weight classes the only MMA worth watching, in my opinion. If the WEC would consolidate and focus on these lightweights, I’d be happy. I hope the USA market for it grows, no pun intended.


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