Extreme Makeover: B/R's Interview With Crafty WEC GM Reed Harris
Reed Harris has spent the last several years as the General Manager of the UFC’s sister organization. However, though a lot of the attention towards mixed martial arts lies on the UFC, the ever-explosive WEC is climbing the ranks with Harris at the head.
Reed Harris’ duties with the WEC were described by him as “varied and also pretty extensive," as he handles the business side of the WEC, including addressing the media and dealing with managers to list a few.
Harris also is a very pleasant and readily available individual for the media, making him a very likeable figure.
Ever since he co-founded the WEC in 2001, Harris has strived to bring the best of mixed martial arts to his organization. Taking a look at the current roster would definitely rule that endeavor a phenomenal success.
“If you look at the current rankings, in the Bantamweight division I have nine of the top ten guys,” stated Harris.
“In featherweight, I think I have eight of the top 10 guys. As we build our company, the thing that we focus on is building our weight divisions, and to make sure that there are a number of people in those divisions that are competing for the title.”
While dominating the competition with the stacked bantamweight and featherweight divisions, the WEC certainly ranks number two in regards to organizations, and Harris could not agree more.
“Certainly as far as viewers and television, we’re solidly the number two organization in the world. As far as attendance to shows we are (number two), and also as far as the depth in our division.”
And who could argue with him?
The leaps and bounds taken by the WEC in the past year alone is enough to set them one spot behind MMA organization giant, the UFC. Harris has noticed the development and sees it as limited to what can be expected in future years.
“I’m extremely happy about where we’ve come in the last year, but I also believe that in the next couple years, we could be in a position similar to UFC where we’re a household name. Our goal is to build our brand, and deliver consistent shows to the fans. I think our claim to fame right now is that our fights are really considered some of the best fights in the business.”
The WEC is taking all of the right steps towards acquiring a similar status to that of the UFC. However, while the UFC is partners with Spike TV, they also air their fights live on Pay-Per-View, something the WEC does not do.
With their partnership with Versus, the WEC gains exposure through free fight cards, along with a good amount of reruns and WEC specials. However, many see Versus as a roadblock for World Extreme Cagefighting, and Pay-Per-View cards for the WEC seem close to becoming a reality.
“We are in the process of planning and putting together a Pay-Per-View. The thing about the WEC and Zuffa in general is that we plan things. We know what we have to do to make it work. So we didn’t want to rush into the Pay-Per-View model like some companies do."
"We believe that when the time comes when were ready to do a Pay-Per-View, it will be a compelling enough card where people will want to pay for it and buy it.”
With a Mike Brown—Urijah Faber trilogy no doubt in the making, the WEC may have just the fight necessary to sell a Pay-Per-View. However, for the moment, the WEC will remain on Versus, as WEC 42 is set to air this Sunday, live from Las Vegas, Nevada.
With the 42nd event of the organization fast approaching, Harris looks back at the growth of the company over the last several years, and predicts the continued growth that seems so promising for the future.
Nestled comfortably one spot behind the UFC, the WEC continues to rise in the world of mixed martial arts with Reed Harris at the reigns. The WEC’s fighter roster and explosive events ensure that this rise will continue for many events to come.
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