Dave Meltzer: "I think that what happened is is that they that they don’t want to do that show on September 2nd if DirecTV pulls them on September 1st. So, they’re giving them so they’re pulling the show so they have, because it makes no sense for WEC, you know, I … it’s how I read it. I mean maybe Ben Henderson really is hurt, but the thing that’s really strange me to is it’s like if he really was hurt, they would just put, why don’t they just do the match on the next show? I mean, they’ve never postponed an actual show over someone being injured, they always have a replacement."
Dave Meltzer: "No, I don’t either. Plus, it’s September 2nd and September 1st is when at this point they may go off DirecTV so you know that seems to add up and plus the other one is is that there, the show isn’t going to be in Youngstown when they do the remake of the show on October the 10th, so to me that also seems to indicate that they sold no tickets in Youngstown plus the Versus thing, so I’m thinking there’s both of those things, I mean I don’t know what the advance was in Youngstown, no one ever told me. And the fact that no one ever told me, probably means it was poor or wasn’t great, if it was great I would have heard."
Can you blame them? The bottomline is either the WEC needs all of the support from the UFC machine or it needs less fragile relationships and partners. This is not a long term recipe for success.
UPDATE by Kid Nate: Jordan Breen has several tweets on the topic:
- Low brand power = Merge, Zuffa.
Pros: Purse parity, greater starpower, all divisions benefit from UFC tag. Cons: Don't get to rub elbows with bullriding on Versus.
It's circular. They can't carry PPVs because they aren't UFC fighters. Only UFC branding and recognition allows fighters to draw.
Tiny jockey sized fighting sells just fine. Ask Oscar, Floyd, Manny, or Ray. It's about Zuffa's marketing juice, nothing more or less
And Steve Cofield adds a new angle to the conspiracy theory, same day weigh ins:
The Ohio Athletic Commission has done a nice job of hosting some big MMA events in the past, but the news that WEC 43 would be administered under a different set of weigh-in rules was a bit troubling. It also reeked of disorganization. Dann Stupp from MMA Junkie reported:
Unlike some regulatory bodies, the Ohio commission does two sets of weigh-ins – one on the eve of the show, and one on the day of the event – and fighters (in all weight classes) can't gain more than 13 pounds between the two times.
The reason listed for the WEC 43 cancellation was an injury to main event fighter Ben Henderson. That's pretty unusual for a Zuffa event to be scrapped on the basis of one fighter going down. Seems like there's more to the story.