(Welcome to the WEC, fellas.)
From a new press release on WEC.tv:
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – World Extreme Cagefighting® (WEC®) today announced that WEC will add a flyweight division to the WEC championship divisions. The organization will no longer actively promote the welterweight division, continuing its focus on the lighter weight classes including lightweight (155 pounds), featherweight (145 pounds), bantamweight (135 pounds) and flyweight (125 pounds).
Carlos Condit, reigning champion of the WEC welterweight division, and Brock Larson, as well as other top 170 pound WEC fighters will transition to the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization to continue their athletic careers as UFC® welterweight fighters.
With the addition of the flyweight division, the WEC has cemented its status as the home of the greatest lighter weight fighters in the world,” said Peter Dropick WEC Vice President of Operations and Production. "We are excited to launch the 125 pound championship division, and look forward to giving our fans the best and most action-packed flyweight fights in the sport."
More information about the WEC flyweight division will be announced at a later date.
So that’s it — Condit and Larson are gone, and they’ve taken the 170-pound division with them. And it’s only a matter of time before the WEC completes its differentiation from the UFC, axes the lightweight class, and sends Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone up to the big leagues. But while it’s good to see the WEC adding divisions to make up for the ones they cut, you’d think a women’s division (or two) would come before a horse-jockey division. It kind of bothers me when women’s MMA is roadblocked due to a perceived lack of depth, then Zuffa installs a new men’s division where the #1-ranked fighter doesn’t even have ten wins yet, and the #8 fighter has won four of his ten fights. (And of course, how many American MMA fans out of 100 would be able to pick them out of a lineup?) Does this make any sense from a marketing perspective?
And the idea of 125-pound men fighting — doesn’t that seem kind of, I don’t know, unnatural to you? All your talk about their speed and endless gas tanks will seem beside the point when Frank Mir enters the cage and asks them to take us through the fight. Either the flyweights are going to have to stand on a step-ladder to reach the mic, or Mir is going to talk to these boys on his knees…