I have a proposition that I believe will give the fans a ton of fresh MMA, as well as maximize the entertainment value of PPV events. You ready for it? WEC and UFC share the PPV events.
Even though Dana White said he was pleased with the numbers from the Aldo vs. Faber PPV, things could have been better. There had to be a significant number of fans that often order UFC that either don't get Versus, and therefore weren't inclined to buy, or people who didn't buy on principal alone because they didn't want to buy the cow when they were so used to getting the milk for free. Regardless of reason, WEC will be UFC's sloppy seconds for PPV's because UFC is so obviously the flagship of Zuffas MMA empire.
Sharing PPV would get WEC pay scales a little more fairly balanced, and the fans would get better top to bottom pay per views every month. If Zuffa insists on having a PPV every month, the fans deserve the most bang for their buck possible, and the lighter fighters deserve a place to shine as well.
There are 7 weight classes currently between WEC and UFC (once the 125lb flyweight class has enough quality to get a spot in the WEC, that would make 8). With 7 titles currently out there and fighters fighting 2-3 times a year, that's anywhere between 14-21 title fights per year. That would mean every PPV could be almost guaranteed a title fight or two (barring injuries). It would also mean that the vast majority of the aired fights could at least, have title implications. The cards that were maligned by injuries before, wouldn't be quite as bad because some of the under card fights would be strong enough to push into the main card without giving us Couture vs. Coleman as a headline fight.
Another benefit would be the possibility of having more free MMA to get fans more interested in the upcoming PPV events, as well as expose them to up and coming fighters as well as established fighters that they may need to know more in order to care.
Here is an example of what I mean:
Imagine you had a PPV that fell at the end of the month, the following week you could air a portion (or all) of the unaired fights, as well as a "what you missed" to entice people to possibly buy the PPV if they missed it the week before. At the very least make them so sorry they missed it they won't do it the next month.
The week after that you would have either a Ultimate Fight Night type event, or a free WEC card. Alternate those events so you have 6 of each per year. Or if that's too many, then have 3 of each per year, and use the off months to air significant matches from 2-3 month old PPVs. Especially if those matches tie into the upcoming PPV for that month. It would raise fan interest, and give incentive to buy the next PPV.
The week after that you'd have the countdown shows, featuring highlights and bios on fighters in the following PPV. Featuring more highlights than bios. The free UFN and WEC events would familiarize fans with the up and coming prospects, as well as established fighters that may not be known to the casual fan. Any time fans care about the guys fighting, it will increase the interest in the upcoming PPV.
After that, you'd have yourself a nice little PPV, with plenty of promotion, and enticing match ups.
Of course there are roadblocks that will ultimately make such a plan difficult to impose as I have outlined. Not the least of which is the fact that Spike and Versus have exclusive deals that would make the un-aired portion of cards as well as the airing of previous PPV's a sticky situation. Unless Zuffa did what they did with Aldo vs. Faber and make the PPV generic and without UFC or WEC affiliation.
Would that be MMA overload? I know it wouldn't be for some, but casual fans probably wouldn't keep up with something going on every week. I say that, then I see how NFL football is successful with a season that is ultimately half the year if you count pre and post seasons. I think with a few logistical tweaks, something like this could ultimately to work in favor of both Zuffa MMA and fans alike.
What say you Bloody Elbow Nation?