Dana White hints at dropping WEC middleweight and light heavyweight divisions

According to a recent column by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting could be getting rid of its heavier weight classes in the very near future. UFC President Dana White gave hints at dropping the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions in a recent interview with Iole.

Unfortunately, both of these divisions are fairly sparse and only a few fighters in the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions are actually signed to exclusive deals.

However, WEC stand-outs Paulo Filho, Brian Stann, and Doug “The Rhino” Marshall could all be sent straight into the UFC to fulfill their Zuffa contracts.

Of course Filho provides for some interesting match-ups within the UFC middleweight division, but one must wonder how high he can go considering his close friendship with division champ Anderson Silva. In the past, the two have expressed a strong disinterest in fighting each other. Now that there is a possibility of the two competing within the same division, their previous words can be tested.

Though Stann and Marshall have ruled the promotion’s light heavyweight division for some time, this change can serve as a litmus test for future WEC champions and top contenders looking to transition into the UFC.

20 COMMENTS
  • matt says:

    Wait, so what about the talent heavy UFC lightweight division and the sparse WEC LW division?

    and Stann isn’t ready for the UFC but he is a future star.

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  • Nick says:

    I truly believe Filho is the second best 185lber in the world. Problem is he is not staying there. He said in a interview recently that this fight with Sonnen is his last at 185, the weight cut is just too much. I think Filho at 205 is even more interesting to be honest.

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  • bjjdenver says:

    So basically, Filho is coming to the UFC. Sonnen, may also hang at 185. Stann is marketable, but not at UFC level right now and it feels more like a thanks Rhino, here are a couple of fights in the UFC, then we’ll see you in some other org.

    Honestly, outside of Filho and maybe Sonnen, I don’t see these guys making it in the UFC. I hope I’m wrong, so we’ll see.

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  • Kelvin says:

    Stann, Filho, Sonnen…yes….but please leave Doug Marshall out…

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  • Evan says:

    I kinda agree Kelvin but he deservers a shot I think.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I’d prefer that WEC keep the middleweights and light heavies. Maybe those guys aren’t ready for UFC, but why not use the WEC like AAA in baseball? It’s better for the fans and the fighters to have televised fights, even if they’re not UFC.

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  • GB says:

    This is bad news. It narrows down the number of top-exposure organizations in which fighters can compete. There was never a serious effort to develop these two weight divisions, but I think it would have been a great place to promote new talent outside of TUF as well as sending a few competent fighters who couldn’t just cut it in the UFC (Eastman, Sakara, etc.) to act as gatekeepers for the new guys.

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  • bjjdenver says:

    #7 GB,

    on the other side of the coin, it has fighters available to improve other promotions rosters, like EXC, where these guys may achieve more success and thus more money.

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  • ShiTSoN says:

    I was suprised to see that Sonnen wasn’t mentioned in the piece, especially when Stann and Marshall were. Maybe Paul didn’t see the last Fihlo v. Sonnen fight, but Chael may have knocked him out for a second with that slam, and he didn’t tap. He trains in a great camp, this guy definitely makes it in the UFC imo. I don’t think the Rhino stands a chance for more thank two fights. Brian Stann will get in and will be given good matchups until he develops. He’s too marketable for Zuffa to pass on.

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  • DPK says:

    I agree with #6 that WEC should be used as a minor league developmental league for UFC, I actually think they would benefit from adding a HW division instead of cutting the MW and LHWs. Of course, I also think that 135, and 145 should be added to UFC.

    Munoz at 205, or 185 is another fighter who isn’t ready to contend in UFC, but with some time and development he could be a force down the road.

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  • maddog says:

    #6

    the olny problem with what you say is zuffa has a minor league…..everyone else. the wec hw division is better than exc as it sits now.

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  • ShiTSoN says:

    #11 Maddog…. “the wec hw division is better than exc as it sits now.”

    You do realize that WEC has no Heavy Weight Division right?

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  • egad81 says:

    I think the entire sports is in need of a nice overhaul. Like anything else the rules and weights are going to change as time goes on.
    In my opinion guys like Rampage should really be fighting at Heavy Weight 230 – 265 265+ is Super Heavy.
    Cutting weight hurts the Athlete. I could see 5-8 pound cuts be these guys cutting 20-30 pounds is just bad.

    I would like to see Stann in the UFC. I wouldnt through him to Silva at first but see how he does against a guy like Bonner. Filho has issues and is not going to be around long if he dont get them worked out.

    JMO

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  • ShiTSoN says:

    #13 egad

    I have a lot of wrestling experience, and i’m telling you a 20-30 lbs. weight drop in a couple months isn’t that bad. And a 5-8 lbs. cut would only take about 2-3hrs total to cut! There is absolutley NO WAY fighters across the board cut less than 10lbs. avg. EVER. There is too much of an edge to be gained by being bigger, stronger. And as long as you do it over those couple months of training, you wont be drained come fight time.

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  • Scottie G says:

    Marshall 100% should drop to 185 if he went to the UFC.

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  • Rich S. says:

    well, i think Stann is ready for the UFC.. i mean, not only are his hands heavy, but he’s a technical striker, he’s not just some wild slugger..

    and Filho? of course he could hang in the UFC.. MW OR LHW.. it doesn’t even matter with him..

    but Doug Marshall? hell no. i’ve never thought of him as good.. and i knew that Stann would crush him.. Marshall was “KD’d” by James Irvin, who right now is probably considered part of the lower tier in the UFC’s LHW division [i don't think so, but, many people do] so, if he couldn’t handle The Sandman, what in the world would make me think he could handle Wandy, Franklin, Chuck, Rampage, or even Jardine..

    plus.. didn’t Marshall already sign a contract with a different org.? or was that just a 1-fight-thing?

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  • Nick says:

    @16- You called Brian Stann a TECHNICAL striker?????!!!!!!!
    I stopped reading the rest of your post after that comment. Brian Stann is far from technical. Take a boxing class and you will see what I mean.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Zuffa ought to sign every promising prospect they can. If they’re too raw for UFC, let ‘em get some experience in WEC and then move ‘em over. Once WEC got some depth at the heavier weight classes, they could have the fighters move back and forth. AFC vs NFC, AL vs NL.

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  • Rich S. says:

    #17, i knew i would probably catch some crap from SOMEONE about that.. but, i stand but what i said.. he can get carried away sometimes and slug.. but he sets his shots up.. i mean, is it that much of a joke? would you compare him to Doug “Swing N’ Miss” Marshall??

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  • maddog says:

    #12
    thats the joke. sorry it took so long to respond

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