Urijah Faber

If there was ever any question how valuable Urijah Faber is to the WEC, all it takes to remove any doubts is a quick comparison of the WEC’s numbers from last few months in 2009 to WEC 46’s numbers from last Sunday. They’re not even close.

  • WEC 43 “Cerrone vs Henderson”: 419,000 viewers, 5,176 attendees, $297,990 live gate
  • WEC 44 “Brown vs. Aldo”: 414,000 viewers, 1,835 attendees, $130,000 live gate
  • WEC 45 “Cerrone vs. Ratcliff”: 330,000 viewers, 1,741 attendees, $102,000 live gate
  • WEC 46 “Varner vs Henderson”: 640,000 viewers, 10,027 attendees, $550,000 live gate

Comparing WEC 44 to WEC 46 (both headlined by title fights) that’s a 55% bump in total viewership, 446% increase in attendance and a 330% increase in gate revenues. Quite the gain.

Still, one particular WEC fighter doesn’t understand why Faber gets the big promotional push and the sponsorships deals that go along with it.

Bryan Levick: You have been very vocal about the WEC’s constant push of Urijah Faber and how they don’t get behind any of the other fighters the way they do Faber. Are there any instances in particular of the WEC giving Faber more opportunities than they do other fighters:

Jamie Varner: It should be called The Urijah Faber show instead of World Extreme Cagefighting. They keep giving Faber all of the big promotional deals, in fact they just hooked him up with Amp Energy Drink. Amp just became the official energy drink of the WEC. I called the WEC regarding Amp about two months ago because a buddy of mine who works with Pepsi told me about it. I asked the WEC to get me on board with them and they said they would see what they could do. Lo and behold Faber got the deal.

Is it any wonder why after seeing the numbers? It shouldn’t be. Faber is the WEC’s breadwinner and while I think they’ve been doing a better job recently pushing other fighters in its stable like Brown, Aldo, Torres, Bowles, Cerrone, Henderson and even Varner, they’re obviously going to put their biggest promotional muscle behind the guy who pays their bills. In return, he gets the biggest reward. It’s that simple.

All that said, even Urijah Faber on a WEC card can’t compete with an average UFC Fight Night card. UFC Fight Night 20’s ratings are also in and the total viewership is nearly triple that of WEC 46’s. In fact, it even topped Faber and the WEC’s best outing from WEC 34 “Faber vs Pulver” which drew a little over 1.5 million viewers on Versus.

Monday’s broadcast of UFC Fight Night 20 on Spike TV scored a 1.2 household rating and earned an audience of 1.7 million viewers, station executives today announced.

The Jan. 11 broadcast peaked with 2 million viewers, who tuned in for Gray Maynard’s split-decision win over Nate Diaz in the night’s headliner.

It will be really interesting to see what the UFC pulls on Versus in March and how badly it blows the WEC out of the water, especially with Brandon Vera, Jon Jones, Junior dos Santos and Gabriel Gonzaga headlining. Oh and speaking of that card, if you’re a DirecTV subscriber and you’re wondering how you’re going to watch it, Josh Gross has some promising news for you.

Image via Sherdog