Will Zuffa's WEC Gamble Pay Off This Weekend?
It's not easy to get people to pay for something that used to be free. Ask any airline that recently started charging for checked luggage – it's the kind of thing that brings out the angry mob in consumers who already feel like they're one more fee or rate hike away from reaching for the torches and pitchforks.
But risks be damned, this Saturday UFC president Dana White is going to give it a shot with the first ever WEC pay-per-view event. After airing regularly on Versus (and yes, I know cable isn't free, but you're going to pay for it anyway because you'd rather die than miss an episode of "Cats 101" on Animal Planet) for the last three years, now Zuffa wants you to pay for the privilege of seeing their little guys duke it out.
The forty-five dollar question is, are you going to do it?
UFC president promises bigger paydays for WEC fighters at "Aldo vs. Faber"
UFC president Dana White says bigger paydays are on the way for WEC fighters, at least for the time being.
On Saturday, the UFC's sister organization asks fans to pony up $44.95 for WEC 48 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. – the same price as a UFC pay-per-view card.
Many observers have noted a disparity in pay between WEC fighters and UFC fighters. However, White said that gap will narrow Saturday – at least temporarily – as the WEC moves from the smaller money in cable television to the dynamic and potentially lucrative world of pay-per-view.
WEC's Shane Roller predicts quick finish of Anthony Njokuani at "Aldo vs. Faber"
While WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will put his belt on the line against top challenger Donald Cerrone at Saturday night's "Aldo vs. Faber" event, the next title challenger may also be decided at the event.
Fellow top lightweights Shane Roller and Anthony Njokuani also meet on the evening's main card in a bout with near-certain title implications.
And while Njokuani's three-straight "Knockout of the Night" performances have raised eyebrows, Roller said "The Assassin" won't be the only fighter looking to throw heavy leather.
Dana: WEC LW Division Eventually Headed To UFC
Although World Extreme Cagefighting officials have long touted the benefits of having their own lightweight division – the only weight class that overlaps with its sister promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship – a change could be on the way. In a recent interview with USA Today's Sergio Non, UFC president Dana White said the WEC's 155-pound weight class "eventually" will be folded into the bigger promotion. In the interview, in which White explains why the UFC has taken over production/commentating/announcing duties at WEC 48 (he said all Zuffa pay-per-view shows will be handled by the UFC's experienced PPV team), White also addressed the long-discussed 155-pound division. "I actually think it's kind of cool," he said. "I think eventually what we do is, we're going to continue to add to lighter weights, and you'll end up seeing these (WEC) guys go into the UFC, the 155 pounders. As for when it could happen, probably not before WEC ever goes forward with plans to implement a Flyweight division.
WEC Announces Canadian Debut; Varner Headlines
The WEC will hold its first Canadian event on June 20 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, the promotion announced Thursday.
Former lightweight champion Jamie Varner will headline the card against Kamal Shalorus.
Josh Grispi will also be in action against L.C. Davis. The 21-year-old Grispi has not fought since he submitted Jens Pulver in June 2009. Davis is 3-0 in the WEC, with wins over Javier Vazquez, Diego Nunes and Deividas Taursevicius.
In other announced matchups, Chris Horodecki will fight Ed Ratcliff and Mark Hominick will fight Yves Jabouin.
2 WEC 48 Prelims To Air On Spike
With the WEC's first pay-per-view a little more than one week away, the promotion is pulling out all the stops to guarantee a successful showing. Today, UFC president Dana White announced that the WEC would follow suit with its sister company and air a pair of preliminary bouts on Spike TV. The featured bouts likely will be Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung and Alex Karalexis vs. Anthony Pettis.
Mackens Semerzier Off WEC 48, Replacement Search On
There will be no "Mack" to go with "Cheesesteak" at WEC 48. Mackens Semerzier is now off the event due to an undisclosed injury. He was to have faced Anthony Morrison. A replacement search is underway but Morrison could also be off as there are only 2 1/2 weeks to find a replacement. Morrison likely would be moved to a future card if that happens.
Syntax Records featured in April issue of Fight Magazine
It’s not uncommon for those familiar with the Syntax Records brand to find hints of MMA intertwined both with the staff, and artists. In fact, some of the Syntax affiliates have been closely following the sport since before it was even called MMA. Thus making sense, that Fight Magazine contacted Syntax when they decided to do an article on independent music and MMA. They even mentioned Syntax as one of only three labels to have their logo make an appearance in the UFC Octagon.
Hey, it's pretty exciting for us.
Is WEC Worth the PPV Price Tag?
On April 24th, 2010 the WEC will broadcast their most stacked card to date. The card will feature two title bouts as well as a possible featherweight number one contender fight between Mike Brown and Manny Gamburyan.
The increase in card quality is not the only change from the usual WEC programing.
Instead of the normal free basic cable broadcast WEC 48 will set you back $44.95 for a standard PPV buy.
BRAD PICKETT RACING FOR THE TOP SPOT
Brad Pickett is making changes, big changes so that he can give his new lease of life in the WEC its best chance of success. He has been plugging away on the U.K. scene for long enough to know that opportunities for us in the international MMA stage are increasing, but it’s off the back of hard work and merit in the cage.
Cub Swanson Off WEC 48
The injury curse may be no match for Cub Swanson's hands. His oft-injured hands have cost him another fight, as he's now off WEC 48 because of it. He was to have faced Chan Sung Jung. Leonard Garcia is the replacement, having reportedly contacted WEC officials immediately when the slot opened and offered to step in.
"Mack" and "Cheese" official for "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber" prelims in April
A featherweight match-up between Anthony "Cheesesteak" Morrison (15-8 MMA, 0-1 WEC) and Mackens "Mack da Menace" Semerzier (5-1 MMA, 1-1 WEC) is now official for the non-televised portion of WEC 48.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported the matchup earlier this month, and the WEC confirmed the fight today in an official Twitter post.
WEC 48 marks the promotion's pay-per-view debut and takes place April 24 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Two new WEC champions make their first title defenses in the event's headliners: featherweight champion Jose Aldo faces former champion Urijah Faber, and lightweight champion Ben Henderson meets Donald Cerrone in a rematch of their WEC 43 barnburner.
Today's confirmation brings to 11 the total number of bouts signed for WEC 48...
WEC 47 draws $401,000 live gate
This month's WEC 47 event at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, drew an official live gate of $401,000.
Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato today confirmed the total with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The March 6 event, which drew an initially estimated attendance of 8,345, had extremely affordable ticket prices that started at just $25 and topped off at a surprisingly low $125 for floor seats.
Profato said an official attendance figure isn't really known since the arena's "lodge seats" aren't figured into attendance totals. Approximately 8,700 traditional seats were used, and with lodge seats, the attendance could have reached nearly 9,500, he said.
WEC 47 drug tests come back clean
All six fighters who underwent drug testing at this month's WEC 47 event tested clean for drugs of abuse and performance-enhancing drugs.
Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato today confirmed the results with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Those fighters tested at the March 6 event included newly crowned WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, fellow headliner Brian Bowles, and main-card winners Joseph Benavidez, Javier Vazquez, L.C. Davis and Bart Palaszewski.
The event took place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, in conjunction with the Arnold Sports Festival, a three-day sports and fitness exhibition that takes place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and other sites around the city. The WEC's sister promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, first ventured to Columbus to host a show with "the Arnolds" in 2007 and hosted an event each year through 2009.
WEC 47: 373K Viewers, 2nd Smallest In 2 Years
The ratings are out for Saturday's WEC 47 event, and the numbers are not good. Only 373,000 viewers tuned in, down 42% from WEC 46 (which, it should be noted, had the promotion's top draw-Urijah Faber) and only drawing more than WEC 45. A big reason could be the ongoing DirecTV-Versus dispute which keeps Versus out of 18 million households.