Josh Gross shares some of his thoughts from WEC 46, and one of them is that the WEC’s 155 division doesn’t hold a candle to the UFC’s. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuh:
WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby has his work cut out for him before he or anyone in the organization can legitimately argue its lot of 155-pound fighters are on par with the best at the weight.
After Henderson solidified the promotion’s lightweight belt in Sunday’s main event — a competitive yet not altogether compelling fight — it doesn’t feel out of bounds to suggest there isn’t a lightweight in the top 20 currently competing for the WEC. That may change over time, but it’ll take a lot of work.
Henderson, 25, has the best chance of moving up the ranks. What he needs are opponents, preferably quality names, to measure himself against. Beating Varner or Donald Cerrone won’t cut it, not if he wants to jump into the top 10.
Dear freaking lord, if Benson Henderson has the best chance of moving up that’s a sad state of affairs. He might be the kind of guy who’s got a shot at beating anyone on any given night, but a UFC run would most likely end with pretty consistent bitchslaps from anyone above gatekeeper level and probably some losses to strategic and careful (read: boring) fighters floating around the lower end of the pack too.
But here’s the interesting thing: it doesn’t matter that the WEC’s lightweight division doesn’t rank – people enjoy it because the guys in there are exciting. Donald Cerrone might not crack anyone’s top 10 lightweight list, but I’m sure many of these same people still have him on their favorites list because it’s entertaining to watch him fight.
This is why I don’t get why the UFC refuses to fold the 135 and 145 divisions into it’s own promotion and just run the entire WEC like they kinda already run the lightweight division: as UFC Lite. It fixes so many problems. Guys like Brown, Torres, and Faber get the exposure and money they deserve. The UFC gets more belts to contest, and the extra 100K+ PPV buys that belts tend to add onto a show. And the WEC then becomes an option when it comes to exciting fighters that can’t quite hack it in the UFC. That could help them keep a lot of guys they have to cut from winding up with competitors.
Anyways, that’s my cracky opinion on what the WEC should become, for what it’s worth. The WEC’s lightweight division is already a de facto second tier UFC lightweight division, they just refuse to acknowledge it and take advantage of the situation. Maybe that’ll change down the road, and who knows … maybe it’ll move the rest of the WEC in the same direction.