Kevin Iole's got the straight from Zuffa scoop on what's next for the UFC's little brother organization:
Zuffa’s decision to trim the WEC from six divisions (light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight and bantamweight) to four by folding its light heavyweight and middleweight divisions into the UFC, however, will make it that much harder to fill cards.
That’s particularly true given White’s plan to add pay-per-view shows to the WEC’s offerings, perhaps as early as May.
I'm fine with the WEC dropping the light heavies and middleweights but for opposite reasons. Their 205lb division is pretty void of talent, but their 185lb division has one fighter whose signing to the WEC instead of UFC was a head scratcher then and remains so today. I'm referring of course to Paulo Filho. When he was with PRIDE, the undefeated middleweight seemed like the best in the world. He's fallen on hard times since, barely beating a game Chael Sonnen and battling drug problems. Nevertheless, if he can turn it around, he could make an immediate impact on the UFC middleweight division.
Earlier MMA Weekly reported that Filho's manager Ed Soares (who also manages Anderson Silva) is saying that a Silva/Filho match is possible:
“If that’s the fight that the world wants to see, then I guess we’re going to have to sit back and talk about it,” Soares said. “I think that’s going to be a hard one to get across to both sides. They’re friends, they’ve been together. But at the end of the day, it’s a business, and sometimes you’ve gotta go in there, and you shake hands. They’ve been on each other for free in training. I can just tell you that it would really have to be something that makes sense for both guys.”
The bit about WEC trimming weight classes is long expected, but the scheme to run WEC PPV's comes right out of left field. With the UFC already close to saturating the PPV market and WEC only able to draw ratings and sell tickets with Uriah Faber on the card, it really makes me wonder how that will work. On the other hand, with the Japanese MMA scene threatening to dry up and blow away, maybe the WEC can scarf up more Japanese talent....not that anyone but hardcores will care.