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Say It Ain’t So: WEC Headed to Pay-Per-View?

There’s plenty to love about the WEC. Zuffa’s brand of minor league MMA features competitive bouts between lesser-known fighters, including the lighter weight classes that get so little love in other organizations. But does that mean MMA fans are willing to pay extra for it?

Dana White seems to think so, as he told Yahoo! Sports that he plans to put on a WEC pay-per-view event, possibly in 2009. Yahoo! says it could go down “as early as May,” and also says that Zuffa will follow through on plans to absorb the WEC’s light heavyweight and middleweight divisions into the UFC. That means even fewer fighters will be available for the WEC cards that fans will soon be asked to pay for.

Asked how many events the WEC would stage in 2009, White replied, “We’re still figuring that out, but I can tell you this: It’s not going to go down.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of the WEC’s main selling points the fact that it was always free on Versus? Why go and screw with that? There’s been a clear dichotomy even in the UFC between fight cards that are good for free TV (i.e. Spike TV) and those that are of pay-per-view quality. As great a year as the WEC has had, asking fans to pay premium prices means expectations go up too. With so many UFC events already stretching the pay-per-view budget of many fans, it could also mean a decline in overall WEC viewership.

I think I speak for all non-independently wealthy MMA fans when I say, damn.

Cagepotato Comments

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cabj1905- August 31, 2008 at 6:22 am
I am kind of disappointed that I won't get ALL my WEC cards for free from now on, but they have definitely sold themselves very well and have many of us as loyal fans. Also, this could probably mean that Zuffa is going to try much harder to make an already high quality promotion better. Besides, any day of the year, I'd 40 bucks to see a WEC UNDERCARD over an EliteXC main card (now THAT'S a promotion that has NO business in PPV; WEC is OK, I'll support them).
Mike Smith- August 30, 2008 at 1:37 am
I won't pay for any WEC PPV ever. period. It's not worth the 50 bucks. Hell, most UFC PPV's aren't worth the 50 bucks. They need to keep it live on Versus IMO
SnowCrash7- August 30, 2008 at 1:18 am
WEC puts on some great shows. There is the extra added attraction of not having to listen to Bruce 'The Buffoon' Buffer and the god awful UFC ringside announcers. Also, the blue floor of the cage looks a heck of a lot better than the UFC's.

But as usual, Komissar White, with his terminal hubris, is over reaching. Trying to squeeze the last possible penny out of the UFC productions will only serve to hasten th day when the UFC is not the MMA flagship.

The man needs to leave well enough alone.

But given what a complete clod White is, is anybody really surprised?
whaaa?- August 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm
the only way I can see this working is if PPV means better money for the fighters, which could possibly bring some of the smaller fighters from the UFC over and set up some interesting fights. Guida or Edgar vs Faber etc. Still the cost would have to be relatively low in order to get fans to pony up after spending money every month on UFC cards.
Dex- August 29, 2008 at 12:45 am
What Zuffa has to understand is that their audience has probably just enough income to buy 1 ppv per month. This summer when events got close together and 2 PPVs showed up on 1 bill it really sucked. 300 dollar cable bills month in and month out aren't in my budget personally.

Right now, I buy every UFC regardless. If the WEC was on PPV too I'd have to skip an event every now and again. Also, alot of the "up and commers" that are on UFC cards I might never get to see because I'm not buying the PPV.

I hope this dosen't happen.
Mr.whitefolks- August 28, 2008 at 10:58 pm
This is some Bullshit!!
ife hearted- August 28, 2008 at 7:58 pm
whats TSD?
Patrick- August 28, 2008 at 5:34 pm
Anonymous- August 28, 2008 at 4:58 pm
Just download it from TPB or TSD if it goes payperview.
Vrax- August 28, 2008 at 4:55 pm
It's great news for me, I can't get versus in my area, and all the local bars show all the PPV events.
Armbreaker- August 28, 2008 at 4:54 pm
Faber vs. Pulver was definitely pay-per-view quality, and Zuffa missed out on some revenue by broadcasting it free on VS. I would definitely have paid to see it.