Though UFC President Dana White stopped short of announcing a merger between the UFC and WEC at Thursday’s UFC 102 press conference, lighter weight classes are expected to be added to the UFC “real soon”.
Both owned by Zuffa, World Extreme Cagefighting boasts lighter weight classes from the soon-to-debut 125-pound flyweight division up to the 155-pound lightweight division, while the UFC begins at lightweight and extends to the 265-pound heavyweight class. Since 2008, the WEC’s light heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight divisions have been slashed, leaving lightweight as the only shared class remaining.
Though it attracts solid viewership on Versus and delivers exciting, quality fights, maintaining separate promotions makes little sense and calls to merge the companies has picked up in recent months, particularly after the recent re-scheduling of WEC 43 from September 2 in Youngstown, Ohio to October 10 at a location to-be-determined.
White said the liklihood of lighter divisions being added to the UFC was “very good” and that they’d likely be added “real soon,” adding that the promotion is planning on three events per month in 2010 and needs the additional fights to fill the cards.
Whether the addition of lighter weight classes is a result of a merger with the WEC remains to be seen, as an extension was recently inked to keep WEC programming on Versus, a deal that could affect when and if the UFC and WEC finally merge.
“I’ve got some shit I gotta figure out,” said White. “We’ve had bigger problems. I will figure this out.”