Random Thoughts - Pre-WEC 48 Edition

via www.gdjiujitsu.com

- It was strange to see the WEC 48 weigh-ins with no "UFC Presents" or WEC logo on the backdrop.  It really was a very "boxing" feel in that way.

- Strangeness aside, I don't really see any reason for the hurt feelings on the part of some media and fans over the fact that the show is being presented with the whole "UFC Presents" tag.  We all know that if they had their choice the WEC fighters would be fighting under the UFC banner and making bigger paychecks, so let's not pretend that the lack of clear WEC branding is insulting to the fighters.  And we know that the WEC brand is not strong enough to pull big buys on it's own in the way that the UFC is.  The real question isn't how the event is branded in the time before the event, but how the event itself is handled.

If the ring is plastered with the WEC logo and the commentators talk about the WEC, then anyone who was "duped" into buying the event thinking it was the UFC is going to be introduced to the brand.  From there it's the job of a solid fight card to make that brand something that means "high quality" to the uninitiated.  The true test of how successful this strategy is will be the ratings drawn by the next WEC on Versus card.

- Personally, the idea of "protesting" this card with my PPV dollars never entered the picture.  But then again I paid for YAMMA.  I get to see a #1 vs. #3 fight, a rematch of one of the best fights of 2009, a #2 vs. #8 fight, a showdown between two future starts at lightweight, and yet another rematch of a fight that was great the first time around.  This is a rare level of quality for a PPV.

- I know the response this kind of thing normally generates is not positive, but I'll say it again anyway:  If you feel that this card isn't PPV quality, or that you shouldn't have to pay for Versus cards that you have previously gotten for free that is absolutely fine. Show it with your wallet.  But that being said, don't think that you're so entitled to watching fights that you go out and watch an illegal stream.  You are in no way supporting MMA by stealing this show.  You aren't supporting Zuffa, you aren't supporting the fighters, you aren't supporting the sport.  Some popped collar d-bag who wants to see m'fers get their asses kicked is a better MMA fan than someone who steals the event as soon as he hits the "Order Now" button.

- The top 3 fighters in one division are fighting on the same night on the same card.  I can't really remember a time where this was the case outside of possibly some of the PRIDE shows when they held most of the talent in the heavyweight division. Update: As pointed out in the comments, WEC 47 had the top 3 bantamweights on one card, UFC 100 had the top 3 welterweights on one card.  So it does happen a bit more often than I was thinking it did.  Still, it's a good thing.

- Non-WEC thought: I'm actually starting to think that Bellator's weird scheduling on FSN isn't as bad of a thing as everyone initially thought.  I've talked to a lot of non-hardcores over the past two weeks who have asked me about the show because they keep catching replays during the week.  It obviously sucks for the hardcore fans who can't tune in every week and know that they're always going to get the event showing live.  But the lack of enough programming to fill out their week means that FSN is airing replays of the Bellator events multiple times.  If this turns people on to the shows and the fighters it may actually turn a negative into a positive.

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