The WEC and Urijah Faber headed to pay per view in 2009
by John Morgan and Dann Stupp on Oct 30, 2008 at 7:45 pm ET
World Extreme Cagefighting and the organization's biggest star, featherweight champion Urijah Faber, will test the pay-per-view waters in 2009.
The organization, which was acquired by the UFC's parent company in December 2006, went from a regional hit to arguably the world's current No. 2 fight promotion with the UFC's backing. And now, after building a solid audience on the cable channel Versus, the WEC will make its PPV debut next year.
Faber discussed the WEC's broadcast plans, and his own plans for the future, with MMAjunkie.com
) during a Versus-sponsored media call on Wednesday.
Faber, who meets Mike Brown next week at WEC 36, said the addition of PPV to the WEC's broadcast offerings only makes sense.
"Versus and the WEC together are doing a great job of getting the promotion out there, and I don't see any crossing over with the UFC and the WEC," Faber said. "I do, however, see pay per view being in the future for sure. (UFC executives) Dana (White) and Lorezo (Fertitta) said something to me about that. Peter Dropick, who's the VP (of the WEC), said something to me about that. Of course I'd be on the [fight card]."
Faber, though, admits that no concrete details are in place. However, he said the move to pay per view, which has proven to be a tough nut to crack for just about every organization except the UFC, is proof that the WEC has long-term potential.
"It's definitely going to happen in 2009," Faber said. "I don't know against who or what the scenario is going to be. It's only been two years since it's been under the Zuffa umbrella, and look how far it's come. I think there's a lot more exciting things to happen in the next few years -- this being one of them."
Faber, who won the WEC title at WEC 19 in March 2007, has made five successful title defenses during his current 13-fight win streak. During that time, he's become the face of the organization and the go-to guy for WEC"s mainstream media appearances.
WEC executives have found worthy challengers during the 29-year-old's title reign, which included a June bout with Jens Pulver in the most successful WEC event to date. However, Faber thinks the future may hold some challenges outside the 145-pound division -- ones surely to help the organization garner the coveted PPV buys.
While Faber is considering the move to 155 (pounds) for the occasional fight, it's not for the sole reason of avenging the only loss of his career: a third-TKO defeat to Tyson Griffin in a 2005 Gladiators Challenge title fight.
"I don't really dwell on losses," said Faber (21-1), who's only had the one during his five-year career. "I wouldn't go up to do anything other than make some good paydays because, you know, there are some fights up there people want to see. I naturally walk around at 154 (pounds), and I've been trying to gain weight. I've been up to 158 fairly consistently before this fight, but my weight always goes back down."
While he'd obviously give up a size advantage in the 155-pound division, he's willing to make the move for a blockbuster fight.
He's also willing to drop a weight class for such a bout.
"If I did go up, it'd be more for a super-fight like maybe a champion vs. champion for a 155-pound match or down to 135 (pounds) for a champion-vs.-champion (fight) or a super-fight against whoever the folks want to see," Faber said. "That's whether it's (Norifumi) 'Kid' Yamamoto or (WEC bantamweight champ) Miguel Torres or whoever has the belt somewhere else like a B.J. Penn."
Faber, though, said it will all depend on the situation. For now, priority No. 1 is simply securing victories.
"I just want to keep on winning right now," he said. "When the time is right, and when it's lucrative and makes the most sense, i'd like to make some of those moves. But for now, I just want to keep winning."