Tonight at 9pm on Versus: The WEC. Tonight at 9pm on Spike: three hours of UFC Unleashed. What’s really funny is that this is a concession on Spike’s part: they were originally planning on premiering ‘UFC: The Best of 2007’ at the same time. But because they’re such nice guys, they moved the date on that and instead are just sticking with more UFC content.
This just underlines the weird struggles Zuffa finds itself in by running two separate and ‘equal’ promotions. Between inter-network sniping and WEC fighters like Jason Miller jumping ship because of their perception that the WEC is B-level, this whole WEC thing is probably starting to seem more and more like a headache than anything else.
I really like the product, and I understand that the WEC exists as a way to tie up talent in the lower weight classes and to keep other promotions from getting a TV deal with Versus. But I am wondering how long until Zuffa gives up on trying to create the perception of the WEC as equal to the UFC?
Once they drop that farce, they’ll be able to trade fighters back and forth between the promotion with ease and use the WEC as a way to build new stars and keep fallen stars from ending up with other companies (all the while dangling the possibility of getting a call back to the big show if performances are deserving). Champions could graduate into the UFC during special inter-promotional shows. Instead of a steady stream of new faces appearing on UFC events, fighters would come into the big leagues with experience and a fan base built in already.
Anyways, that’s just how I see it. Too bad they’re stuck trying to create an illusion of equality with the UFC.