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The Big Announcement: UFC Absorbs WEC, Featherweights/Bantamweights Debut in January

(Props: MMAFighting)

The cat’s out of the bag, and the "major announcement" turned out to be pretty damn major after all. Dana White announced during a media call today that the UFC is absorbing the WEC beginning in January 2011; the UFC will now feature seven championship weight classes. Here’s how it’ll work…

Jose Aldo is automatically the UFC Featherweight Champion; he’ll defend his UFC featherweight title at UFC 125 on January 1st against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

WEC 53 (December 16th; Glendale, Arizona) will be the final WEC event. The winner of the bantamweight title fight between Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen will become the UFC Bantamweight Champion. The winner of the lightweight title fight between Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis will automatically face the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard at UFC 125.

– The UFC’s new deal with Versus includes four fights in 2011.

– Dana wouldn’t discuss those network TV deal rumors, and he didn’t feel like talking about Ontario, other than "it’s done, and we’re coming soon."

– DW: "We’re already maxed out on pay-per-views…the way I see it, you’ll get more free fights."

– There are no plans to add women or super-heavyweights into the UFC. However, an Ultimate Fighter season with featherweights and/or bantamweights will happen "soon."

– Sean Shelby and Reed Harris don’t need to start preparing their resumes just yet. Said Dana, "we’ll figure out how everybody’s gonna fit in, but there’s so much work to do over here that nobody’s gonna be sitting around."

– No word on if Brittney Palmer will also be absorbed into the UFC, though the current Octagon Girl pit could certainly use her.

Anyway, pop a bottle of bubbly in honor of more title fights on the pay-per-views and bigger paychecks for the smaller guys. If any other important details emerge, we’ll let you know…

Cagepotato Comments

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gator roll- October 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm
Lets get something straight. Chandella is not Ugly. In America, if you are not fat, you are by definition "hot". Unfortunately, She works next to fricking Arianny, which makes her Fugly by comparison.

Chandella is hot enough that most of the keyboard warriors here would hit that in a heartbeat and be happy about it.

The problem is, We want to see the best fighters in the world, and the hottest tail wagging their shit around the octagon. For 55 bucks, I deserve to see an truly epic female octagon side.

Chandella is hot, she just isn't NEARLY hot enough.

Arianny represents a marketable celebrity for Zuffa. Chandella doesn't have what it takes. So why haven't they canned her ass yet? Efrain and Duffee got fired on whim.. The fans are uniformly not impressed with her.
She is a liability to the bottom line. Why cant they fire this chick? Which Zuffa Exec is she F*^#@*g?

It could be also that she is clearly less hot than Arianny. Arianny, apparently is ne of the reasons the fired Edith and the amazing Logan Stanton. Apparently Arianny had problems with them, so they had to go.

Now Palmer on the other hand...... She is an epic beauty and she will give Arianny a serious rival for the boners of fans. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Can the Alpha queen tolerate a chick just as hot.... but without a self assigned pornstar name?
Emopinata- October 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm
i agree with you about hardy, but 8 and 9 seems to be a relatively good spot for both fighters, 8-10 range, id prob put diaz 8, hardy 9.

@bill jackson
umm what? i dont give breaks, i give truth. sooo. kay, oh and that opponent diaz was against, was gomi.. if hes relevant. i was being generous.
DARKHORSE06- October 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm
I can't wait to say goodbye to all those free fights.

As an aside, I would rather see Wesley "Cabbage" Correira walk around the Octagon than Chandella.
cecils_pupils- October 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm
fatbellyfrank- October 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm
@ Rex, love the idea, but Alvarez has to be in their somewhere, and this is awesome awesome news, and we get Brittney Palmer as well, wooohoooooo, and I get to watch Bellator tonight, life is fucken goooood
SgT.SauceD- October 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm
Man this is awesome, AWESOME news! The little guys always put on, hands down, the BEST fights year after yearafter year. Now I can actually order ufc PPV's and not feel like I got ripped off afterward, which has been happening far to frequently lately. Yea it was nice having WEC cards for free but man those guys deserve bigger paychecks and more exposure. Hat's off to the UFC and The Baldfather!
Almost North- October 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm
I think everyone is missing the most important part of this.

Korean Zombie in the UFC.
Goog- October 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm
[Jens Pulver on the phone] "Hello... mom? Yep, it's me. Lil'est Evil. Did you hear? Uh huh..... uh huh... yep. Yeah... they announced it today. I'm back in the UFC. I told you. I TOLD you...."
RwilsonR- October 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm
@ Let it rain - I get it... to each his own. I think I probably weight Edgar well above Fitch or Shields in my mind because I am just so happy to watch BJ Penn get beat that it makes it exciting for me.
KDHR3TBC- October 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm
sweet now we can see chris horidecki vs takanori gomi!
RearNakedSpoon- October 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm
"Octagon Girl pit" *drool*
BONGTAR- October 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm
Aldo vs. them all, FTW
LET IT RAIN- October 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm
i don't know man, i just don't like Edgar's style I suppose. It doesn't seem like he is there to finish is what i was getting at. a la Fitch, and Shieldzzzz with better fighters. This hater's gone hate.
MoTropolis- October 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Seeing as the two major topics here following the big announcement is the ring girl situation and a LW tourney, I cant believe nobody has suggested a 16 girl, baby oil wrestling tourney to decide the mainstay ring girls. I thought this was America.
BONGTAR- October 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm
sweet bejeebus. I think Aldo will end up the 145 and 155 lb. champ. Mark my bong smoke.
RwilsonR- October 28, 2010 at 1:18 pm
No way Rex! Not tongue in cheek at all. A 32-man, one-night, winner-takes-all tournament!!! Whoever is left standing wins! Bladed weapons optional.

@knucklesammitch - I totally agree. There was nothing boring to me about either Edgar/Penn fight. I was literally on the edge of my seat both times. I've never seen BJ beat like that. Anytime a top 5 PFP fighter gets dominated in a way they never have before I am interested. And Edgar is very active, not boring at all.
ghostboner- October 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm
I have really been waiting for this for some time now. And why all the Benson hate? I think Henderson will do good in the UFC. I doubt he will be winning the title in his first fight, but I think he can hang top 10 at LW.

+(any real number) for cecils pupils. Helwani burn=OOOOHHHHHHHH!!!! And i think with dana's deep pockets, he can fit Helwani in nicely, everything except for the nose...
Lysol- October 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm
Eh, I'm a bit indifferent. I'm not sure if, for the first night of the tournament, I can get hyped up to watch Gray grind out a decision over someone I barely remember being in the UFC and Smooth choke out someone I was convinced was cut. If the first round is too predictable, I won't buy it.
ghostboner- October 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm
HOLY SHIT ASS THIS IS SO AWESOME CAPS LOCK CANNOT EVEN DESCRIBE IT!!!! EXCLAMATION OFF THE PAGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ReX13- October 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Lysol >> I'm partly tongue-in-cheek, but really, lopsided fights can be pretty entertaining. Isn't that what the first round of tournaments are for? Add in the potential, nay, the certainty of an upset or two, and i'd stay tuned.
Lysol- October 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm
A 32 man tournament would be a bit of a stretch. Even during March Madness, 32 entries leads to six or seven extremely boring, lopsided results. Keep it at sixteen.
cecils_pupils- October 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm
Conference call barely ends and MMAfighting already has a total of 5 stories published. IMO, this is proof that the UFC has them in their pocket. FIXED!!
knucklesamitch- October 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm
@Let it Rain,

I don't know what Penn/Edgar fight you saw...but that second fight looked like A. Silva vs. Any of his last 5 opponents before Sonnen with the exception that Edgar went to discision with Penn.

Edgar was in and out on quick 1-2's, and got crazy takedowns. I don't see anything boring about that...But I guess haters gotta hate.
DangadaDang- October 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm
This is awesome news, lighter fighters= better fights. Its science.
ReX13- October 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm
So, what we're seeing is that a field of 32 would be possible, and yes, we would watch it.