UFC Buys WEC, But Will Continue Running WEC Shows?

0

The following is from MMAWeekly.com:

Both the Wrestling Observer and numerous independent MMAWeekly.com sources have confirmed that the Ultimate Fighting Championship has purchased, or is in the final stages of purchasing, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).

The Zuffa-owned WEC is expected to continue to hold shows under the WEC name and would use a UFC Octagon. Additionally, MMAWeekly has learned that WEC president Reed Harris and matchmaker Scott Adams are expected to remain with the company, and that the first WEC show to be produced under UFC ownership is an event tentatively planned for January 2007.

The Observer reports that the UFC is buying the WEC for many reasons, one of which is to serve as a venue in which to groom up-and-coming talent, and another is so that they can attempt to secure a high-profile national television deal for the WEC in a strategic maneuver to impede the chances of other MMA promotions (specifically the IFL or Pride) to secure a national TV deal in the United States.

There are only so many TV deals available for an MMA company in the United States. If a TV deal could be secured for the WEC, Zuffa would have the UFC on Spike TV, perhaps the UFC on HBO at some point, and the WEC on another network besides HDNet.

If the UFC were able to secure a deal for the WEC, this would leave any other MMA company with very limited options in terms of securing their own TV deals, with no possibility of signing with Spike TV, HBO (assuming that the UFC is able to secure some sort of deal with the premium network), Showtime (because of their agreement with Pro Elite, Inc.), and the network that would sign the WEC.

According to Ron Kruck, a broadcaster at WEC events and producer/host of WEC Exposed on HDNet, “We [HDNet] are in ongoing talks with the WEC about renewing their contract, but at this point, nothing has been signed.”

So, it appears that the HDNet deal is up in the air at this point and that the UFC may already be seeking a different outlet for their latest product.

There is definitely a higher priority being put on the television production of WEC events. Christian Printup of the Tachi Palace recently stated on WEC.tv that at least 50% of the WEC shows in 2007 are moving to the Tachi Palace’s new indoor venue, even though it is somewhat smaller than the outdoor venue where most WEC events have been held. His reasoning: “The new capacity is 1,450, and the [indoor] venue is better designed for a television audience… the [outdoor venue] was 1,800 capacity.”

As previously reported by MMAWeekly, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White were sitting in the audience at WEC 24 on October 12th. Now, with the purchase of the WEC, it has become pretty clear why they were in attendance.

DISCUSS THIS NEWS IN THE MMANEWS.COM FORUMS >>

Latest MMA News

Joaquim Silva

Joaquim Silva: ‘I Respect no One Once we Step Into The Octagon’

Joaquim Silva is all business when he competes. This Sunday night (May 28), Silva will do battle with Reza Madadi inside the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm,...
Conor McGregor

Dana White Claims Conor McGregor Called Tony Ferguson a Bum Who Doesn’t Deserve a...

If Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is to be believed, Conor McGregor blasted Tony Ferguson via text. Ferguson hasn't been shy in expressing...
Valerie Letourneau

Valerie Letourneau: ‘I Cannot be Mad at The UFC For Doing The Right Thing’

Valerie Letourneau is happy that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has finally added a women's flyweight division. Letourneau is now a member of the Bellator...

Oscar De La Hoya: Boxing Won’t Recover From McGregor vs. Mayweather

Plenty of people are excited for the possibility that Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather could fight inside the boxing ring - Oscar De La...
Max Holloway

Max Holloway Wonders if Conor McGregor Will Return After Mayweather Fight

With UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor possibly getting set to challenge Floyd Mayweather inside the boxing ring, interim featherweight champ Max Holloway wonders if...

Jose Aldo: Conor McGregor Turned Down a Rematch With Me

Jose Aldo doesn't think he'll ever get to avenge his 13-second loss to Conor McGregor. The pair met in the main event of UFC 194...
video

Why UFC Fight Night 109’s Main Event is Important to Alexander Gustafsson (Editorial)

Alexander Gustafsson faces a stiff test this coming Sunday afternoon, taking on Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 109. And it...

Angela Magana Goes Off on Cyborg: “You F*cked up, Big Time”

After being punched in the face by Cris Cyborg this past weekend at the UFC's Fighter Retreat in Las Vegas, UFC strawweight Angela Magana...

Robbie Lawler: Georges St-Pierre Doesn’t Want to Fight Me

Robbie Lawler's tear as UFC welterweight champion may be over, but he's ready to get back into the Octagon and knock people out again. Lawler's...
video

Combate 15 Will Feature Rodrigo Vargas vs. Danny Ramirez From Mexico City

Combate Americas returns to Mexico City for Combate 15, as Rodrigo Vargas takes on Danny Ramirez in the main event. The card will go down...