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Are You Really Ready to Pay for a WEC Card? Really?

(Just a couple of poor boys fighting over scraps of food and tens of thousands of dollars.)

This week I debated MMA writer/Army officer Kelly Crigger on a number of MMA-related topics (what’s that, sounds suspiciously like our Ben vs. Ben feature? Yeah, tell it to Crigger, *cough*ripoff*cough), but the one where we seemed to differ the most revolved around whether the WEC can now make a successful transition to pay-per-view.  Kelly argues yes, pointing to the excitement provided by the last WEC event and the need to improve fighter pay in Zuffa’s little guy organization.  He’s right, of course.  They have been putting on good shows lately and Mike Brown does deserve a raise, but it doesn’t mean I’m personally prepared to give it to him.

Why?  Take a look at the upcoming WEC 42 lineup, for instance.  As far as I can tell, there’s one fight worth paying for on that card, and it’s the main event bout between Miguel Torres and Brian Bowles.  Aside from that you’ve got Joseph Benavidez vs. Dominic Cruz, Ricardo Lamas vs. Danny Castillo, and Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Curran

I realize that this is a card they aren’t asking us to pay for, and they might well stack a pay-per-view with more stars (last time I checked, though, they only had three), but the point is they just don’t have the depth worth paying for.  They have a couple of guys who are big among hardcore fans.   And those hardcore fans are already strapped from buying UFC pay-per-views and  TapouT beds.

What’s more, fans are already used to getting this product for free (with a cable TV package).  You know what happens when you take something that’s free and ask people to pay for it?  They get mad at you.  Ask any (non-porn) website that has tried to transition to a subscription-based format.  You have to improve the quality drastically if you’re going to ask people to pay for something you used to give away, and I don’t see how the WEC can do that with its current roster.

Like Crigger, I’d love to see WEC fighters get paid more.  Just not enough to pay them myself.  But maybe that’s just me.  Anyone out there willing to shell out a few bucks for regular WEC pay-per-views?  If so, how much would you realistically pay to see the little fella’s beat the hell out of each other, and how often?

Cagepotato Comments

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Old_Bald_and_Irish- July 1, 2009 at 6:26 am
Arby's Beef & Cheddar, FTW!
831 Son- June 30, 2009 at 10:41 pm
Fuck yeah Dmonicideals. I thought the same thing.
Sjsurf- June 30, 2009 at 10:34 pm
If they go thru with this, the WEC can suck it.
kwisdumb- June 30, 2009 at 6:33 pm
I think WEC events could work as PPVs if...

- They got more promotion on UFC events. As many mentions as Dana White's twitter, etc. as well as some promotion on Spike TV. Maybe not as much as UFC events, but maybe 1/3rd as much.

- Only one in every few events was broadcast on PPV. Maybe put a WEC event on PPV when there's not going to be a UFC event for a while. No more than 4 times a year.

- Offer them as a package with the UFC. How much are UFC events now, $50.00? I could see them offering, for $60.00, a WEC event as well.

- Make sure that the price isn't more than $20.00 or $25.00.

With all of that combined, I think WEC PPVs could be a successful product.
Tai-Pan- June 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm
Holy fuck, who the hell is going to buy a PPV, whatever it costs, on a sunday night? They would have to switch the nights, so what Saturday or Friday? You can bet it won't be on Saturday, because thats the UFC's night. Too early, shit i can barly be bothered to watch it illegally.
Dmonicideals- June 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm
Who the fuck can afford PPVs already? I am of the opinion they need to put MMA on fucking NBC and share this amazing gift with the world. The money will come when they have REAL sponsors, like Adidas and Nike and shit, real sports companies, not fucking Affliction and Condom Depot (big ups for helping, lil guy. But you are just a lil guy).

Also, a big part of the problem is they are a Zuffa owned promotion, and Dana and the Fertittas make BANK LIKE A MUTHAFUCKA by not paying fighters shit, and they love $$, so there is that as well.

Perma- June 30, 2009 at 4:09 pm
LOL At buying Tapout beds... God I wish I could post a picture right here I would post a pic of my brother in law's bedroom complete with everything now to man Tapout puts out, including the full bed set.

He recently had to attend his son's graduration and went to find a nice non fighting shirt to wear and closest thing he found was a Tapout shirt with only a small logo, seriously all he has is Warrior Wear,Affliction,Tapout clothes.

I think Wec's titles should be defended on UFC shows, thus giving the champs the pay increased they have earned and Urijah should fight a few guys like Tyson Griffon at 155.
ihateemo- June 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm
For the WEC, transitioning to PPV is commercial suicide. A lot has gone into making the UFC a palatable PPV buy for $50 a month. Even at half that price, the WEC lacks the depth, the stars and the exposure to make it an appealing buy. They only have events, what, every three months or so? It just shows that the WEC doesn't have enough going on for people to keep paying attention to it - after every UFC fight they're already hyping the next event. Hell, they plan their events four or five at a time! There's new UFC news daily. With the WEC, fight news trickles out every week or two.

Sports fans are junkies and need daily information to keep them interested. Why do you think people check the MMA blogs daily? If the WEC can either build itself up with more fighters (and more INTERESTING fighters) and hold more regular events, maybe people would be more willing to pay a price. But then maybe they should just fold the WEC into the UFC entirely and have more frequent "Fight Night" events on Spike to showcase the lighter weight classes. I don't think anybody would complain about more than one UFC even per month, especially given the size of the UFC's roster. I'm sure some of the lesser known fighters would love the chance to be more active.
Jeffro- June 30, 2009 at 1:20 pm
I would pay $19.99. Not a dollar more. Those little fuckers are half the size, so the card should be half the price.

I really enjoyed the last card. It was an exciting night of fights.
Meohfumado- June 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Ummm yeah...I can quote both. So I guess I'm a semi-intelligent knuckledragger who pretty much only watches cartoons and sports.
rokabee- June 30, 2009 at 1:01 pm
I would not pay for a WEC card.
Nut Puncher 9000- June 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm
We are so interested in WEC that we are talking about Arby's and the Simpsons.

Do you think we will pay for that?

MyFightWiffaCheeto- June 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

It's not sad that you can quote "The Simpsons" it just means you're semi-intelligent and get good humor.

If you go around quoting "Family Guy" then you're sad, because it probably means you're a knuckle-dragging Arby's employee.
MyFightWiffaCheeto- June 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm
"Don't make me run! I am full of Chocolate!" (please say in Germany Uter-esque accent please.)

I'd pay about $20 to watch the little guys fight... hell, why doesn't UFC absorb WEC like we suggested and have some of the lil guys fight on PPVs or just have a fight night every month to help showcase some of the up and comers. I'm sure Spike won't mind bumping a three-hour block of CSI: Miami to garner more ratings with a LIVE UFC event, even if it is some of the lesser known cats.

If the UFC was to absorb the WEC I wouldn't mind paying an extra $5-10 for each PPV. It's not so bad, you grab some of your friends that like UFC, every chips in $10-20 bucks and you have a night of fights, buds, beer, brats, and "bud" if that's your sort of thing.
Chri534.- June 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm
I can barely get my friends to watch it with me on tv for free as it is...
Spacebump- June 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm
CJvsCP- June 30, 2009 at 11:48 am
Nice............ and chin up buddy it's not sad like Millhouse says, "My shoes are soaking wet but my cuffs are bone dry, everythings turning up Millhouse!"
Meohfumado- June 30, 2009 at 11:28 am
CJvsCP, "LOL I'm so hungry I can eat Arby's - who said this?"

One of the twins on the Simpsons in the Lord of the Flies episode.

It so fukin sad that I know that....
CJvsCP- June 30, 2009 at 11:14 am
LOL I'm so hungry I can eat Arby's - who said this?

No I will never pay for a WEC fight. I pay for UFC and that's killer already if you think about it I pay around 600 a year for 12 UFC PPV fights. It's fun and all but they need to come up with like a yearly package deal for like 400 bucks b/c every month I tell myself no I don't want to watch this one and then my friends are like Yo you having the fight and I'm like Shit! Yeah but your bringing a 12pk and doughnuts over but dammit man money doesn't grow on trees!
831 Son- June 30, 2009 at 10:53 am
Hahaha Burrito. Yea that shits weak though how much they charge. I guess I missed your point.
xFenixKnightx- June 30, 2009 at 10:51 am
I'm not ready to start shelling out more cash for Urijah in cornrows.

BTW, CP. The Tapout bed...totally worth it!

I'll be in the club like "sup girl, wanna come to my bedroom? I gotta Tapout bed." And they'll be like, "Tapout bed? Oh yes, Fenix, take me to Pleasure town!" And I'll be like "Oh we're going there! WE'RE GOING THERE!"
Just A Wrestler- June 30, 2009 at 10:48 am
I go to hooters to watch UFC so im ok with it as long as hooters shows it
El Famous Burrito- June 30, 2009 at 10:41 am
I wont argue that Arby's beats McDonalds or Burger King.

Maybe it's different where you live, but around here a freaking roast beef sandwich is 5.99!

I'm a cheap-ass mofo, I'm not paying that much for a sandwich and I ain't payin' for WEC either.

Crap, now I actually want a beef and cheddar. You jerk.
Mike Milbury- June 30, 2009 at 10:39 am
Seriously, $19.99 max. Which should get bumped down to $14.99 because of Joe Martinez's "Are you ready?" scream.
Dojima- June 30, 2009 at 10:34 am
i am in agreement with most everyone - the WEC just isnt worth shelling out the money... $14.99 would be the most I could see it going for and getting people to buy, but even thats a stretch... with only two weight classes, there isnt a lot draw for the casual fans to pay money... and honestly even the last WEC card was only marginally awesome and definitely not up to a $45.99 or even 29.99 level..

no, the WEC has to stay free if it wants to stay in business.