News of the UFC-WEC merger contained an expanded presence for the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Versus. The sports network aired two UFC events over its airwaves in 2010, but UFC president Dana White revealed that his newly expanded company will grace Versus four times in 2011.
“We ended up getting a deal for the UFC on Versus. We did four fights, that’s what we’re allowed to do with the deal that we’re in now,” White said.
Overall on Versus that is a net loss of mixed martial arts events. The WEC, by the end of 2010, will have aired eight events on the network. That, coupled with the two UFC events, is 10 for the year compared to the four planned for next year, a net loss of six televised MMA events on Versus.
“I don’t know how this whole thing’s going to pan out, but I’m not looking at this as a negative like, ‘oh we lost a couple fights on Versus.’ It’s a positive,” said White.
“We have our deal with Spike, we have our deal with Versus. We’ll have a couple less fights in 2011 on free TV.”
That’s part of the process of assimilating the WEC’s roster into the UFC. The mixed martial arts juggernaut has been expanding for quite some time. They don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, it just won’t likely be by way of more free fights on television on 2011, not even in the long rumored area of a network television deal.
“I don’t think so, but anything is possible,” White said of a network deal at some point in 2011, but added, “If I wanted to put something on TV, I could pick up the phone and call Spike TV and make it happen.”
For now, the UFC-WEC merger still means a boost for the fighters that make the transition, even if television does take a slight hit.