28 October 2010
Huge news in the world on MMA broke today as UFC president Dana White confirmed that World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) will merge with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) promotion. The WEC has long been owned by Zuffa, Inc., the parent company of the UFC and has managed the WEC as a sister organization to the juggernaut that is the UFC.
Ariel Halwani of MMAFighting.com originally broke the news in his exclusive interview with Dana White that was posted this morning. White confirmed the merger and offered further clarification on a media call with the MMA press.
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.”
White would later state, “There is no more WEC.”
The news has sent shockwaves throughout the MMA community as it in effect bolsters the already omnipresent UFC to unfathomable levels of reach and popularity. Additionally, the UFC’s inclusion of the lighter weight classes aids them in their goal to tap into the Mexico and Asia markets. These two markets have historically been ripe with lighter weight class fighters.
More Merger Nuggets
- The WEC will hold two more shows (Nov. 11 and Dec. 16) before being absolved.
- Jose Aldo will now be recognized as the UFC featherweight champion.
- The winner of the Dominick Cruz – Scott Jorgensen fight on the WEC Dec. 16 card will be declared the UFC bantamweight champion.
- The winner of the Dec. 16 Ben Henderson – Anthony Pettis will take on the winner of the UFC 125 Frank Edgar – Gray Maynard UFC lightweight title fight.
- The UFC will air four live cards on the Versus Network in 2011. “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.
- White confirmed that all WEC employees will maintain employment with the UFC. White also stated that he intends on keeping the majority of the WEC roster as well.
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