Tonight, on the 20th June, a mixed martial arts event is taking place in Canada. It is WEC 49: Varner v Shalorus.
Whilst the 'hardcore' fans would have been aware of WEC 49, it is probably safe to say that many 'casual' fans of the sport would not be aware that a MMA event is going to take place tonight. The blame could be apportioned to the fans for their ignorance, but the majority of the finger pointing should be directed at Zuffa, and their promotion, or lack thereof, of the UFC's little sister.
Unlike UFC 115, or TUF Finale where none of the fights had any significance in terms of title eliminators and setting up future contenders - lets face it, none of the victors, (Kampmann, Franklin and Hamill included), will be challenging for the title anytime soon - WEC 49 actually has two #1 contender determining bouts: LC Davis v Josh Grispi, where the winner will probably (and unfortunately) face Jose Aldo for the 145lb title, and Varner v Shalorus; where the victor would end up favourite to challenge Benson Henderson for his 155lb strap.
Apart from those scraps, other talent on the fight card includes BJJ ace Rafael Assuncao, and the competent Wagnney Fabiano (albeit on the undercard), as well as an exciting prospect in Renan Barão, who has been touted by none other than Jose Aldo to be the future 135lb champion.
Unfortunately, the exposure of this event has not been well promoted by Zuffa at all. The event was not pushed by the UFC during yesterday's TUF Finale, and the only mention of it on the UFC website is a little heading under the 'Upcoming Live Events' section. Whilst I understand that it is important for the Zuffa to hype UFC 116, which will probably be the biggest event this year, it would not have hurt them to place a promotion for WEC 49, even if the promotion was only on the website for 24 hours until the event started tonight.
As Zuffa won't do it, I will: here is a reminder to watch the WEC tonight.
It'll probably end up being the It IS the best MMA event this month.