If you watched WEC 48 either the prelims on Spike TV or the main card on pay-per-view you’ll have noticed that at no time was it mentioned that this was a WEC event. Instead it was simply billed as ‘Aldo Vs Faber,’ Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan referred to the WEC as “the organization,” and even the cage was free from any WEC logos.
Before the event this was believed to have been purely a marketing tactic by Zuffa to make people feel as if this was just another UFC event in the hope of selling more PPV tickets for the WEC’s debut on the platform.
Last night after the event Dana White revealed that there was behind-the-scenes issues that also dictated the presentation of the event.
“[The WEC and UFC] are two different brands on two different networks,” he told mmajunkie.com. “Even though they’re owned by the same company, they’re two different brands owned by the same company. The networks aren’t going to let us do it.”
“Whenever you promote a pay-per-view, you don’t want to limit yourself. WEC is on Versus. UFC is on Spike TV. We went with no branding for this one, and we got as much promotion as we could.”
So in essence dropping the ‘WEC’ from the title for the brandless ‘Aldo Vs Faber’ tag allowed Zuffa to break free from the shackles of a traditional VERSUS event, opening the door for the prelims and countdown show to air on Spike TV.
As for whether the WEC’s brand being missing from the promotional push harms the company in the longer term, White insists it’s the fights, not the promotion, which is most important.
“At the end of the day, it’s about the fights. If you’re going to buy tickets to come to the show, if you’re going to buy the pay-per-view, it’s about the fights that night.
“We just wanted to make sure that we could expose these fights to as many people as possible. A-B-C-D-E-F-G, it doesn’t mean [expletive] to me. Sell some pay-per-views. That’s what we are at the end of the day: a pay-per-view company.”
Regardless of the red-tape involved in the branding decision for this particular event there’s now growing feeling that it’s only a matter of time before the WEC merges with the UFC.