MMA Business: Pros and Cons of a Potential UFC-WEC Merger
When the top brass at Zuffa, LLC , the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) purchased the relatively unknown start up promotion World Extreme Cage Fighting (WEC) back in 2006, they knew that it would take some time to build up the company to a level where it could be nearly as powerful as it's much larger and more established sister company.
Fast forward 4 years and here we have a much stronger and more well known promotion thanks to the backing of UFC's brand. The MMA Juggernaut has tried to ensure that the two parties are mutually separate in their offerings, but are still recognizeable as part of a family of fighters; sort of in the same way that Lexus and Toyota are two separate car companies offering slight modifications of the same product.
However, with all of the WEC's growing success, such as it's first ever Pay-Per-View offering this year ( Aldo vs. Faber ), one still has to think that there is probably a limt to how much the promotion can continue to grow on it's own. While the Aldo/Faber fight was a great debut showing with an approximate 200,000 pay-per-view buy rate, you can't help but think that it would be capable of even more mainstream noteriety if the UFC was able to promote them completely under one unified banner.
With the UFC flourishing, and the WEC beginning to make it's mark, it might seem like a good time to join the two as one entity rather than promote them separately. At B/R, we have hashed around the idea of such a business venture and see some various pluses and minuses for both promotions.