UFC president Dana White dropped the bomb on the MMA world Thursday. The sport’s most powerful figure announced Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and WEC, has decided to combine the two organizations and form one powerhouse promotion in 2011.
The world’s premier mixed martial arts company arranged a conference call for today at 10AM PT/1PM ET, however Ariel Helwani got the exclusive with White just moments before the media pow-wow.
“The timing was right. We purchased the WEC, we started to get these lighter weight guys exposure – sending them around the country [to do promotional activities],” White told MMAFighting.com. Now, as the UFC continues to grow globally and we continue to do more fights, it makes sense to bring in those lighter weight classes.”
According to White, WEC 52 on November 11th and WEC 53 on December 16th will mark the company’s final shows. The UFC will then absorb their little brother’s bantamweight and featherweight divisions, while the lightweights will blend in with the UFC’s crop of 155-pound studs.
White added that four Octagon events will air live on Versus in 2011, and that they are looking to add a 125-pound division.
ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption reported yesterday the UFC was to launch their own network, however it appears the merger was Thursday’s “major announcement.”
Make sure to follow us on Twitter, as we’ll be providing updates on today’s conference call.
Please click the media player below to watch Helwani’s exclusive interview with White: