Goodbye, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC)


My only real complaint about this highlight is that it lacks any footage of pre-Zuffa WEC. In the library of fights they've put together many of the WEC's best happened during that era.

Still, the highlight is a reminder of a question that always stood out in mind: if you imagine the WEC never existed and I asked you what a non-UFC Zuffa promotion would look like that lacked four of the major weight classes, what would you say? You'd first probably say what's the point. The promotion would be conceptually lacking and would seem to be an unnecessary effort given all of Zuffa's other priorities.

And yet, despite all of those considerations, the WEC is what true, dyed in the wool fight fans enjoy the most. The battles were pitched, the action intense, the novelty legitimate and the fights generally first-rate. The WEC was the fight fan's people's champion. With limited resources and conceptual hindrances, it nevertheless carved out a niche. And whether it was coincidence, fan bias, a smaller cage or reality, the WEC developed a reputation for technical yet smashmouth MMA. The fighters on the WEC roster knew they had more to prove and set out to meet expectations nearly every time they performed.

That means the WEC always occupied a very strange space. What killed the WEC was the same thing that made it special: not the product for casual MMA or sports fans, yet almost everything a fight fan could ever want. This highlight reel is a tribute to that dual identity.

HT: Matthew Roth

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