The WEC proved once again Sunday night that smaller doesn’t necessarily mean less exciting. In fact, the exact opposite has rang true the last three WEC shows and it’s likely that this trend will continue as they build more stars in their smaller weight classes. Many fans were clamouring late Sunday and early Monday that many of the WEC fights are better than the fights of their big brother, the UFC.
One major reason that the WEC has put on such fantastic cards is the size of their cage. The WEC cage is smaller than the UFC cage. The reason (or what has been explained) is that the WEC fighters fight in a smaller cage because they simply are smaller fighters. The WEC is made up of divisions for 135 lbs, 145 and 155. While the UFC has 155, 170, 185, 205 and heavyweight (205 – 265).
The UFC puts on incredible fights, but over the last few years we have seen a slow rise in the number of fights that are ruined by a lack of action between the two fighters. While the WEC certainly has a stinker now and then, the overall quality of the fights from opener to Main Event has been superb and the smaller size of the cage could be the reason. Fighters are forced to engage and have no where to go, but at each other. You have to stand and fight in the small cage, while in the UFC you have much more room to back peddle and escape from engaging.
Dana White said last year that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva wants a smaller cage in the UFC. White said Silva would like to seem them fight in a phone booth if he could! Jokes aside, Silva may be right. There could be some truth to the idea that tighter quarters = more exciting fights.
This wouldn’t even be an issue if the last few WEC’s hadn’t delivered so well. There is no denying both products are unbelievable entertainment, but in the future the UFC may consider stealing something from their little brother – a smaller cage.