While some have voiced concern over how Urijah Faber’s upset loss to Mike Thomas Brown at WEC 36 will affect the business prospects of the WEC, Caplan believes that the promotion will be just fine, thanks in large part to the depth it has accumulated at featherweight, which has become the promotion’s marquee division.
“While there is some fear that Faber’s loss could have an adverse effect on the WEC’s business in the short run, it won’t hurt the promotion’s growth over a long-term period,” Caplan writes this week. “Faber is not another Kimbo Slice; in addition to being the promotion’s franchise player, he’s also a world class fighter. He’s also not another Chuck Liddell, an aging veteran. Faber is just 29 in comparison to Liddell, who is 37.
“There’s every reason to believe that Faber possesses a good chance to stand atop the featherweight mountain again. And while he’s making that climb, he’s had enough exposure that he can continue to headline events even without a title on the line.”
While Caplan points to his belief that Faber will remain a drawing card even without a title as a reason why the WEC will remain strong, he believes that the depth in the featherweight division will also help. Part of the reason why the WEC is so strong at 145 is because it has done a good job of recruiting young prospects such as Jose Aldo.
“Aldo recorded a minor upset over Alexandre Franca Nogueira in his WEC debut back in June during WEC 34,” Caplan begins. “Much like (Jens) Pulver and (Rumina) Sato, Nogueira is considered a pioneer of the lighter weight divisions in MMA, and the win proved that Aldo was legit. He’s almost a lock to appear in a televised bout the next time he fights, and if he continues to progress, his televised fights will be main events.”
In order to read the article in its entirety to see who Caplan considers to be the WEC’s top ten at featherweight, just click here.