The long-awaited merger between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and younger sibling World Extreme Cagefighting has finally come to fruition.
UFC President Dana White made the announcement during a media conference call on Thursday.
The final two WEC events will be held in November and December. After the final event, the WEC lightweight division will roll into the UFC’s version of the weight class, while the other weight classes will be known as the UFC featherweight and UFC bantamweight championships.
“As the UFC continues to evolve and grow globally, we want to be able to give fans title fights in every weight division,” said White. “This is a big day for the sport and the athletes who will have the opportunity to fight on the biggest stage in the world.”
The UFC will hold four events on Versus in 2011, the maximum allowed by their current television contract with Spike TV. All UFC shows beginning in January will feature a mixture of all weight classes.
Newly-minted UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is expected to make his debut at UFC 125 in a title defense. The title shot will not go to Mark Hominick due to Hominick’s dealing with injuries from his fight against Leonard Garcia at WEC 51.
The winner of December’s Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis WEC lightweight title fight will get the winner of the Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard UFC title fight.
White said that the fighters coming over from the WEC will experience an increase in pay. The lighter weight championships will also be defended solely on pay per view for the most part.
More information will be coming shortly.