Does the UFC need to bring the 145ers into the mix? Many would say its about time they do.
All due respect to the WEC, but they have what most consider the pound-for-pound fighter at 145 in Urijah Faber, and as much as I love watching him fight for free, he belongs in the UFC.
Faber is an impressive 20-1, with his only loss coming at the hands of Tyson Griffin. He was eventually overcome in that fight, but he was not out of his league. Tyson has since moved up to 155 and is fighting in the UFC.
Faber coming off of an amazing five-round fight with another great featherweight in Jens "Lil' Evil" Pulver, who has also fought at 155 in the UFC and is a legend in the world of MMA.
The Faber/Pulver battle made VERSUS the most-watched among key male demos. The fight garnered a 1.4 HH rating and averaged 1,535,705 viewers (P2+) for its June 1 WEC telecast. People want to see this kid fight.
It seems that if you're a solid fighter in the WEC at 155 and up, there are opportunities to move on over to the UFC. James Irvin is one example.
So why do they not have a featherweight division for a guy like Faber? Is there a lack of talent? Generally the featherweight fights are faster and more exciting. Why wouldn't you want this guy on a PPV fight card?
Not to mention, that this is a business not unlike any other sport today. Most of these fighters are underpaid. In a sport where any second could be the end of a career, these guys should be getting what they deserve. Faber has so much PPV potential, it is ridiculous.
I hear plenty of criticism on how the WEC is full of B-level fighters compared to the UFC. I would say they are quite similar in the talent realm.
If you examine the current title holders of the WEC vs. those of the UFC, you may be surprised. For instance, "All American" Brian Stann is on a meteoric rise and recently knocked off Doug "The Rhino" Marshall to become WEC champ at 205.
He matches up well among the LHW contenders in the UFC. Who wouldn't want to see him battle Forrest Griffin.
At 185, you have WEC Champ Paulo Filho vs. Anderson Silva in the UFC. Unfortunately every experiment has a control, and this is just that. I can't honestly say he is on Silva's level.
However, I would love to see WEC Welterweight Champ Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit fight GSP at 170. I'd also like to see Jamie Varner vs. "The Prodigy" BJ Penn. All are great match ups.
That's a great idea for a PPV event: WEC VS UFC: TOTAL DOMINATION! It would be a unbelievable night, and though it would most likely never happen. It's much like talking about Brett Favre playing in Minnesota; it just sounds good.
Some of these fights will need to happen soon. For example, if you look at the hollow nature of the 185-pound division in the UFC, after Silva dismantles Cote he will have no one left to fight.
This will force him up to 205 for awhile, which is not a bad thing in my opinion. I would love to see him fight a handful of guys at LHW, possibly even for a title shot.
The 185-pound division is not the only one with problems like this. Something needs to be done and fast.