World Extreme Cagefighting officially announced plans on Tuesday to discontinue its welterweight (170 pounds) division while also formally declaring its intent to launch a flyweight (125 pounds) in coming months.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com was the first to report that WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit was being transferred to the UFC and that the WEC was expected to close down its 170 pound weight class.
In addition to Condit being moved, recent reports have also confirmed that former WEC welterweight title challenger and one-time UFC fighter Brock Larson will be moving to the UFC as well. Condit had been scheduled to defend his title vs. Larson at WEC 39 on March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas but the match was cancelled after Condit suffered a wrist injury.
As of now, no further details are known regarding the WEC’s plans at flyweight but the promotion is believed to currently be scouting perspective talent. Top candidates that could be signed include Palace Fighting Championships veteran and Thai fighter Ramba “M-16? Somdet and Strikeforce veteran Darren Uyenoyama.
Also, the online site for the UK-based magazine Fighters Only has also previously reported a rumor that the promotion could be looking at Henry Cejudo for the division. Cejudo was a member of the U.S. Olympic team this past summer at the Beijing Games and won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling. He is currently training in boxing and has expressed a desire in the past to cross over into MMA.
The decision to drop its welterweight division with the intent to launch a flyweight division is another move by the WEC to increase its commitment to the lighter weight divisions. In recent months, the promotion has disbanded both its light heavyweight and middleweight divisions.
The commitment to the lighter weights could increase further, as FiveOuncesOfPain.com has also learned in recent weeks that the WEC has discussed the possibility of adding a full female division. Previously, UFC President Dana White has publicly discussed using the WEC to host fights featuring Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg but never fully committed to a full roster of female fighters. In the next year, the WEC could look to transition its top lightweight fighters to the UFC in order to create room for a female division.