clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WEC Explains Fight Card Postponement

A day after World Extreme Cagefighting announced that it had postponed its previously scheduled Sept. 2 fight card, WEC Vice President Peter Dropick said in an interview with FanHouse that the organization will move forward with the same fight card on October 10, and saying of the Donald Cerrone vs. Ben Henderson main event, "Fans want to see this fight."

Dropick also said the dispute between DirecTV and Versus, WEC's television network, had nothing to do with the decision to postpone the card, and that ticket sales were tracking as expected in Youngstown, Ohio, but that the card will now take place in a yet-to-be-determined city.

The full interview is below.

Michael David Smith: Why was this card postponed?
Peter Dropick: Injury to Ben Henderson. He was injured, went to the doctors and they told him he couldn't continue his training camp. So we decided this was the fight we wanted, Ben and Donald Cerrone are our No. 1 and No. 2 contenders, so we felt it would be a disservice to replace them. So we went to Versus, they were able to get us another date, and we moved it to October 10, a Saturday night, which will be our first fight on a Saturday.

How serious is Henderson's injury? Are you sure he'll be ready to fight on October 10?
Based on what the doctors have told him and what he's telling us, he'll be able to fight. We're fairly confident of that.

What is the nature of his injury?
I can't discuss that.

Did you attempt to find a replacement for Henderson?
No. Based on our discussions with his camp, they assured us that he'd be ready October 10, based on the doctors' advice, and this was the fight we wanted between our No. 1 and No. 2 lightweight contenders, with the winner to fight Jamie Varner.

Did the dispute between Versus and DirecTV have anything to do with the postponement?
No. Not at all. That doesn't even make sense. We're a cornerstone property of that network. Why would they want to take that off the air? The more great programming they have, the more people are going to watch Versus. That did not play into this in any manner.

How concerned are you about possibly losing all those DirecTV subscribers as WEC viewers?
I'm not overly concerned. These concerns between networks and providers happen, but I'm confident the two will work a deal out. Versus has some of the top properties on the air: Ourselves, PBR, Tour de France, NHL and a great college football schedule coming up. I'm confident the two will get a deal done.

How was October 10 decided on as the make-up date?
Based on my discussions with Versus, looking at available dates, that was the best option. It's our first time on Saturday night, which is great for WEC. Saturday night is historically a great night for fights, as you've seen with the UFC having great success on Saturday nights. We're looking forward to having a Versus WEC fight on a Saturday.

Are you hoping to have more events on Saturdays?
Yes. We think it's a great night for the fans at home and for the gate.

Where will this card take place?
We're still working on a location. We have several options and I'm working with different venues.

Is Youngstown still one of the options?
No, Youngstown is not available, unfortunately. They've got an event that day so we have to find another location.

How were ticket sales going in Youngstown?
They were fine. They were tracking as I expected. It's disappointing we won't be able to deliver that fight to the city of Youngstown, because they were very supportive and they're a good fight market. We're hoping to be there in the future.

Is this a strong enough card? Your bantamweight and featherweight divisions have your marquee fighters, but is your lightweight division strong enough to carry a card, and is Henderson vs. Cerrone a strong enough main event?
We think it is and from the fans' standpoint, I know they want to see this fight, which will determine who will fight Jamie Varner for the title. It's a weight class we're building, and we feel there's enough talent out there to grow that weight class. And we feel that absolutely it is a fight that's worthy of being a main event. Fans want to see this fight.

I think it's fair to say your best four fighters and four biggest draws are Mike Brown, Brian Bowles, Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres. When will we see each of them again?
Mike Brown and Jose Aldo are going to be fighting in November. It looks like Torres and Bowles, depending on their recoveries from injury, will be on our December card. Currently we've got Faber on a January card. We're going to have great momentum at the end of this year and heading into 2010. We'll have an event a month from October probably until next summer, at least one event a month.

Let me ask you about some other issues. When will we see flyweights in the WEC?
Hopefully soon. We're working on it. It's still in our plans. We've got a ton of interest from flyweight fighters. We want to launch it properly, possibly by the end of the year, and if not early next year. It's definitely in our plans, hopefully soon.

Has there been any talk -- or is there any current talk -- about having female fighters in the WEC?
We have discussed it. Currently there isn't any active discussion about having women. We're open to the idea if it's something the fans want to see and if there's a deep enough talent pool to have some solid divisions. I'm not sure that's the case yet.

Is there any talk at all about folding the WEC into the UFC?

That's definitely not happening?
No, I think the only talk of that was from the media. I'm not sure where that came from, but no.

Back to your upcoming card, will the October 10 fight card consist of the same fights that were scheduled for the September 2 card?

I wrote yesterday that I thought this was a weaker card than your previous ones. Do you want to make a case for why this is a strong card?
Cerrone and Henderson are our 1 and 2 lightweight contenders out there, fighting for the interim belt due to Varner's situation. Damacio Page and Akitoshi Tamura are top bantamweights. Charlie Valenica and Ox Wheeler are going to put on a great fight. Eddie Wineland, a former champion in the WEC, will be taking on Manny Tapia, who's been a Top 10 fighter for much of his career, Mark Hominick, a former WEC fighter, is now back from Affliction, taking on Deividas Taurosevicius.

This card might not have the names you mentioned before -- Faber, Brown, Torres and Bowles -- but we think it's an exciting card with top fighters, up-and-coming fighters. We're building strong divisions and we're putting on fights that I think could end up being candidates for fight of the year. We've got some of the best, most exciting fighters in the world.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting