WEC and Zuffa officials announced today that WEC 48 would be the first ever pay per view event for the promotion. The cost of the event will be higher than many expected at $44.95. However, the WEC is stacking the inaugural pay per view card. The event is expected to be headlined by a pay per view bout between champion Jose Aldo and Sacarmento native Urijah Faber.
WEC general manager Reed Harris told the Associated Press
We wanted to wait until we had this type of card to go to pay-per-view. We didn’t want to do a pay-per-view show until fans would say at the end of the night, ‘This was worth it.’ This will truly be the biggest event we’ve ever done. I think we’re destined to always be on free TV, this is just something where the timing is right to take the next step.
The headline bout will be a huge draw as Faber is a guy that many consider a serious threat to the seemingly unstoppable Aldo. Aldo won his title by defeating Mike Thomas Brown at WEC 44 in November. The Nova Uniao trained fighter has a 16-1 career record and a 6-0 record insider the WEC. Urijah Faber, the former champion, meanwhile is the WEC’s most marketable fighter. He will get another chance to fight in front of his home crowd. Faber defeated Rafael Assuncao at WEC 46 in January and will look to get back the title he feels is his.
Also the event is expected to feature a lightweight title fight between champion Ben Henderson and challenger Donald Cerrone. This fight will be a re-match of a 2009 fight that got a lot of attention as a fight of the year candidate. Cerrone is a real threat to Henderson. This fight should be a war.
The WEC makes its move to pay per view in hopes of being able to garner more attention and as a benefit fighters will likely get bigger pay days. It would appear that this move would squash the talks of a UFC/WEC merger, however, if the buy rate is not good it could spell the end of the WEC as a separate entity.
Also, rumor has it a number one contender fight for the featherweight belt will take place at the event between former champion Mike Brown and TUF 5 and UFC veteran Manny Gamburyan.
Click here for the complete fight card.