Lets face it; the popularity of women’s MMA took a huge hit recently with the collapse of Pro-Elite/EliteXC. EliteXC had done more for the popularity of women’s MMA than any organization ever had. It actually almost never happened. Former EliteXC head Gary Shaw had to beg CBS to get the first Gina Carano fight on the televised portion of the card. What we then saw was nothing short of an explosion of the popularity of the sport. After that fight, he never had to ask again. Now with EliteXC never to return, what is to happen to womens MMA that so many MMA fans have come to love or at least appreciate? What about the WEC? Dana White has reiterated many times that he has no interest in bringing women into the UFC. He claims the divisions are not deep enough to keep quality fights going even though he has conceded a little bit that women’s MMA is becoming more popular. However not having deep divisions does not stop the WEC from putting on mens fights. Dana White and the Fertitta brothers are not stupid and I think they must be at least considering the possibility of women in the WEC. The WEC may be the perfect place for women to fight next. The WEC focuses on the lighter weight classes and has even decided recently to move the shallow Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions from the WEC and incorporate them into the UFC. This move could make it harder to put together quality cards in the lighter classes for WEC events. The WEC still lags far behind the UFC in popularity but being able to offer something different than the UFC has worked well for them so far. Bantamweight and Flyweight classes have become very popular for them. The addition of just one women’s weight class could help them fill cards and offer something else the UFC does not have. With fewer WEC cards than the UFC, women’s MMA would give them the ability to put together quality matches while they grow the division. The WEC also has a TV deal with VS. Another plus is the recent availability of some very popular fighters because of the demise of EliteXC. Gina Carano, Cristiane Santos, and Rosi Sexton are all looking for a new home assuming the frozen contract issue can be resolved with EliteXC. These are names EliteXC fans have become familiar with. Adding them to WEC cards could help boost WEC ratings, especially since they are committed to doing a PPV in 2009. There are other great women fighters in smaller US promotions like Fatal Femmes and others where fighters may be willing to move to the WEC for better money and TV exposure. It is time for the WEC, Dana White and the Fertitta brothers to step up and do something for the fans and the sport of women’s MMA and keep Dana’s personal feelings out of it. If you agree, let Dans and the Fertita brothers know how you feel!
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