Season six finalist from “The Ultimate Fighter” and former UFC competitor Tommy Speer has revealed to his hometown paper in Rochester, MN that he has already been extended a contract offer from Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting.
Despite being released by Zuffa from his UFC contract, it sounds as though the company is still bullish on his long-term potential.
“They’re pumped to have me back because they never wanted to lose me in the first place,” Speer is quoted as saying by the Post-Bulletin. “We haven’t talked about the money or length of contract yet, but I’ll definitely be in the WEC. They’re planning to get me on their next big event after their June event, probably in August.”
Speer was dropped from the UFC roster soon after being knocked out just 0:51 into round 1 against Anthony Johnson during UFC Fight Night 12 this past April. The loss dropped his lifetime record in the UFC to 0-2, which includes his loss to Mac Danzig during the finals of TUF 7 on December 8 of last year.
Speer didn’t like the decision at first, but has apparently come to grips with it.
“I didn’t agree with it right away; it was depressing news,” the paper quotes Speer as saying. “But now I know I lost to a great fighter, and he surprised me and everyone by how well he fought. I don’t think it’s too bad of a thing for me to be going to the WEC. There are great fighters there, too. I need to keep learning and working on my game, and the WEC is a great place to do that.
“I can’t complain about what’s happened, because have I put in as much time and effort as other people who have gotten to the UFC? No, I haven’t. But I’m going to keep working on it as much as I can.”
The WEC’s interest has been met with some initial skepticism, leading some to wonder whether Speer is truly a free agent or if the move was purely procedural. There are those that question why the UFC would release Speer if its sibling-company has an interest. It’s a valid question, but there is a degree of separation in how the two companies operate.
While UFC president Dana White has final say, WEC matchmaker Scott Adams has a great deal of input. There have been a few instances in the past where Adams and UFC V.P. of Talent Relations Joe Silva have had interest in the same fighter for their respective roster.
It should be noted though that Speer has already competed for the WEC under Zuffa ownership in May of last year. It’s possible that Speer already has an executable contract with the WEC and his return could already be a formality.