The time has finally come for the end of the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting). In a conference call on Thursday, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC will merge with the WEC in 2011 Sherdog.com reports.
It is expected that all of the fighters currently in the WEC will be retained, and that includes the 135 (bantamweight) and 145 (featherweight) pound champions. With this merger, the UFC will see a flood of talent pour into the octagon. Along with the WEC comes featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who is, arguably, one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world; and he is just one of many talented fighters who will cross over.
The WEC will have one final event–WEC 53. This event will determine who will enter the UFC as the bantamweight champion as current WEC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz takes on Scott Jorgensen.
Dana White also mentioned that Jose Aldo will defend his title at UFC 125, which is scheduled for January 1st.
The merger will also bring over the WEC’s lightweight division, which is absolutely stacked. Ben Henderson, the current WEC lightweight champion, will defend his title at WEC 53 against Anthony Pettis. The winner of this bout will get an instant title shot against the winner of Edgar/Maynard.
With champions falling left and right in the UFC, White was smart to announce the merger now. The UFC is in dire need of some new lightweight talent, and lighter fighters usually put on entertaining fights–something that has been nearly absent as of late due to the wrestling epidemic currently grasping the UFC.
In the merger, the UFC will also keep current WEC general manager Reed Harris and matchmaker Sean Shelby.