World Extreme Cagefighting general manager Reed Harris spoke with MMAJunkie.com today concerning the big news of the WEC-UFC merger and he expressed his absolute excitement at the growth of the promotion he co-founded as well as at the opportunity that the merger presents for his fighters.
“When I started the WEC, we thought we’d maybe do one show,” Harris told MMAJunkie. “To be sitting here today and have something that I was involved in become part of the biggest sports company in the world is very satisfying. It’s kind of like when your kids go to college. At first, you’re concerned, but then after they leave, it’s pretty great.”
The WEC and its fighters are known for consistently delivering top-quality MMA but for being widely missed by casual MMA fans and mainstream media coverage. Harris said that the merger was a natural conclusion to reach considering the talent of the fighters competing in the WEC and their need for a higher-profile stage on which to display those talents.
“This is something we’ve been planning for a while,” Harris said. “They way we talked about it when we did the planning was that our fights were so good and so dynamic that these guys had to get on the big stage and open this up to all the MMA fans in the world. There’s no bigger stage than the UFC. Everybody is really, really excited about it. I think the fighters are going to be as excited as we are, and it’s just going to be great for everyone involved.”
Harris believes that the merger will prove to be as much of a good thing for the UFC as it will be for the WEC, as the smaller fighters will still deliver the same amount of excitement as always within the UFC’s eight walls.
“The WEC was literally so successful that there was no other option but to move it into the UFC and expand this huge sports brand that is the UFC,” Harris said. “I can’t wait for UFC fans to witness the action we’ve had for years in the WEC. As anyone who has watched these lighter-weight fighters will tell you, when these guys step into the cage, they let it fly.”