Wednesday, February 3, 2010
World Extreme Cagefighting To Attempt PPV For "WEC 48: Faber vs. Aldo" on April 24th
After years of sly suggestions and slight-of-hand speculation, World Extreme Cagefighting's G.M. Reed Harris announced today that WEC 48: Faber vs. Aldo will be the WEC's first PPV card. It is set for Saturday, April 24th at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California-- the reported cost to purchase the card is $44.99 USD .
Many had expected the WEC would ease their way onto PPV at a more affordable price-point, but obviously it was determined internally that the market could bear a couple of stacked WEC cards per year at a cost just slightly below that of a PPV event by Zuffa's other promotion, the UFC. The WEC, which typically holds cards on the relatively obscure VS. cable network, currently promotes fights in three of MMA's lowest weight classes [lightweight (155 lbs.), featherweight (145lbs.), and bantamweight (135lbs.)], which have historically been a tougher sell to the majority of fight fans.
So far, the card at WEC 48 is set to feature two title fights and one title eliminator. Former longtime WEC featherweight champ and the promotion's most iconic poster-boy, Urijah "The California Kid" Faber (23-3) will challenge the newly-crowned featherweight champion Jose Aldo (16-1 [pictured below]) for the 145lb. strap, while Benson "Smooth" Henderson (11-1) and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (11-2) will rematch their epic battle from WEC 43 with the winner claiming the lightweight title that Henderson recently won at WEC 46. Meanwhile, former, twice-defending featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown (23-5) is set to face TUF 5 runner-up Manvil "The Anvil" Gamburyan (10-4) with the victor being first in line to face the winner of Faber vs. Aldo for the featherweight strap.
WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber is certainly shaping up to be among the most exciting cards the WEC has ever promoted, but whether enough people will deem it worthy of the price is something that we will have to wait until April 24th to learn. For industry watchers, this event will provide a pretty clear barometer both of where the WEC ranks in the sporting public's consciousness and of how far MMA has advanced into the mainstream. To date, no promotion other than the UFC has claimed significant success on PPV.