Jose Aldo has been absorbed into the UFC and will be their first featherweight champion and make his next title defense on January 1 as a part of UFC 125, as Dana White has now stated that World Extreme Cagefighting will become one with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The announcement was made as a part of the major news by UFC president Dana White on Thursday that the WEC would be merged with the UFC starting in 2011 (you can watch Ariel Helwani get the scoop above). Aldo had previously been offered a move to the UFC and a chance to go up to lightweight, but will instead compete in the Octagon on New Year’s Day to defend his formerly WEC belt. Aldo is the first WEC champion to have his title rebranded as he will now be referred to as the UFC featherweight champion. All the other lower weight classes will also be absorbed into the UFC.
When asked why the merger was happening now, Dana White told Ariel, “The timing is right, the reality is we purchased the WEC, we started getting these lighter weight guys exposure on television, sending them around the country… now as the UFC continues to grow globally… it makes sense to bring in those lighter weight classes.” White also said that this was his plan all along, but who really knows about that one.
No word on who the opponent will be at this time, but the more important question is what will happen to the other WEC titles, such as the lightweight belt which is currently held by Benson Henderson. Will we see a unification bout between him and Frankie Edgar in the near future or will Henderson be stripped of his belt and thrown into the mix with the other lightweight fighters battling for contention?
How do you think the WEC fighters will do once they are part of the WEC?