It's impossible to talk about the WEC these days without the discussion turning to the promotion's future. The talk this week was all about the DirecTV mess and whether the show would bomb. Regardless of how the numbers come out, the WEC delivered another tremendous night of fights last Saturday night, and gave us all a stark reminder of how much worse off we'd be as fans if we didn't get shows like this for free on a regular basis.
While guys like Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres suffer financially as a result of their weight classes being excluded from the UFC, guys like Ben Henderson really benefit from the existence of the WEC. In the UFC, Henderson could never reach co-champion status at lightweight. Fighters like Gray Maynard, Kenny Florian, and BJ Penn are light years ahead of him, and he'd quickly find himself in deep water if he fought in the UFC. But in the WEC he can be a champion and develop as a fighter. There's a lot of value there.
I'm not one of those who believes the WEC should be folded into the UFC. Why advocate against getting free great shows on a regular basis? There has to be a middle ground that allows guys like Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Brian Bowles, Miguel Torres, and others to shine on the sport's biggest stage while simultaneously allowing guys like Ben Henderson and Jamie Varner to shine.