UFC-WEC Merger: What Can You Expect To See?
As I'm sure you've heard by now, or may be able to tell from the numerous other articles, the UFC and WEC have merged.
The UFC will absorb all of the WEC's 61 fighters from the lightweight division, bantamweight division and featherweight division.
Dana White also stated that he hopes to add a flyweight division sometime in the future.
As soon as I heard this, my mind was flying with ideas for things that could come of it, so I decided to share it with all of you. Enjoy!
You'll be seeing Jose Aldo... a lot of Jose Aldo. He is already expected to have his first UFC Featherweight Championship title defense at UFC 125 on New Years. And also, since he's pretty much done cleaning out the featherweight division, you can expect a jump to the lightweight division, which creates some interesting matchups.
Aldo vs Maynard, Aldo vs Edgar, Aldo vs Florian, Aldo vs Penn (if he moved back down). Those would all be great fights and I would expect Aldo to be just as dominant a lightweight as he is a featherweight.
Although my next slide is a bit contradictory... It's all just speculation, so we'll see.
Fewer UFC Lightweights
I would fully expect to see a handful of UFC lightweights drop down to the 145 pound division, because now they can stay in the UFC and fight at a more natural weight.
A guy like Frankie Edgar, who cuts no weight for his fights, could easily cut to 145. I would expect to see him do that after UFC 125, mostly because I (along with the Vegas oddsmakers) expect Edgar to lose to Maynard again.
So maybe Aldo will defend his title at 125, Edgar will lose his at 125, and then you could see Edgar fight Aldo for the featherweight title.
Superfight, check. I suppose a possible scenario would be Aldo moving to lightweight and Edgar dropping to featherweight.
They'd probably have to fight somewhere along that path, though.
Brittney Palmer will be coming over to the UFC as well.
Arianny, Chandella, Brittney.
I think more people will be looking forward to fights going the distance.
I think everybody who watched UFC 119 wants to forget it. It was one of the most boring cards in recent memory. But say you threw in an Aldo fight, or a Faber fight, it would have been much better.
I'm sure Dana White would disagree, but everybody else would have to agree that it was a pretty bad card. Oh yeah... I just mentioned Urijah Faber...
You can expect Urijah Faber to be a huge draw for the UFC as well.
He was pretty much the face of the WEC, and while I wouldn't expect him to be the face of the UFC, I certainly expect him to relish the exposure and be a major promotional draw.
The Ultimate Fighter: Bantamweight/Featherweight
I think it would be fantastic to have a season of Ultimate Fighter with either of those weight classes.
Coaches could be Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo and they could rematch (if Faber wanted to go back up). Other options are Faber and Brian Bowles or Dominick Cruz.
If this actually happens (Dana White has already said he would want it) you could fully expect to see Faber.
That would give him an opportunity to get major exposure for himself and for the sport to make himself a household name.
The drawback for Aldo would be that he can't speak English (from what I've read, I could be wrong).
The Ultimate Fighter: Flyweight
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The only major MMA promotion that has a flyweight division is the Shooto organization, which honestly I had never heard of until I looked on Wikipedia.
Apparently the WEC announced on Feb. 3, 2009, that they were adding one which was supposed to be implemented in 2010. That didn't happen, so I guess we can disregard that.
But I think the best way that Dana White could add the flyweights in would be to do a larger season of TUF for just flyweights and sign most of them just to fill the division.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The addition of the two new weight classes and the absorption of the lightweight division is a great thing for the UFC and MMA in general.
UFC cards will be better, faster-paced, and we will (hopefully) not have any dud cards such as 119 and potentially 122.
I also think I failed to mention that the winner of Ben Henderson vs Anthony Pettis (WEC Lightweight Championship Fight) will automatically be granted a UFC title shot against the winner of the Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard fight at UFC 125.
I look forward to seeing how the top WEC Lightweights handle themselves against the top UFC Lightweights.
More Brittney Palmer
Get used to seeing her. I can't wait.
Thanks for reading!