What The UFC/WEC Merger Means To MMA Fans
This past week, Dana White made the blockbuster announcement that MMA fans have been waiting for: The UFC and WEC will merge. What does this means for both Zuffa-owned companies? The UFC will absorb the WEC’s featherweight (145lbs), bantamweight (135lbs) and lightweight (155lbs) divisions. The rosters will become deeper, fight cards will feature more title eliminators and no one should complain about the quality of a UFC card anymore.
Simply put, it means the strong get stronger and fans will be quite the happy bunch come 2011.
It also means the person many consider to be the “other” pound-for-pound best fighter in the world will finally get a chance to showcase his almost supernatural ability on the biggest stage of them all. That man is 145lbs champion Jose Aldo. But he’s not the only one to make the jump to the UFC. Fighter such as Dominic Cruz, Urijah Faber, Benson Henderson, Donald Cerrone and others will bring their talents to the mixed martial arts giant.
Starting in January 2011, the UFC will put their new stable of fighters to work. It’s the biggest acquisition for MMA since the UFC bought Pride Fighting Championships back in 2007. With seven weight classes and a new stable of fighters, it will be quite interesting to see what the UFC does for fans in 2011.
What does it mean for all of the other MMA organizations? They better figure out something fast in order to compete.
Just as it seemed Strikeforce and Bellator were gaining ground on the UFC, this merger will force them to figure out ways to keep fight fans entertained. Again, this could work very well for MMA fans who will likely see UFC cards full of fireworks.
Here are some things to take note of as the merger closes in on completion.
Dominick Cruz will be crowned the UFC’s inaugural bantamweight champion if he successfully defends his belt against Scott Jorgensen at the WEC’s final event in December.
Benson Henderson will only remain champion following a successful defense against current WEC number-one contender Anthony Pettis. The winner of this bout will square off against the winner of January’s Frankie Edgar–Gray Maynard bout.
So MMA fans, gear up for an exciting 2011 as it is sure to be a great one.