The World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) brand will be laid to rest this winter and it’s stable of thrilling mixed martial artists are set to enjoy competing under the famous UFC banner, come January. This exciting news broke via an exclusive interview with White as conducted by Ariel Helwani of MMAfighting.com.

WEC has enjoyed long-term success from their upstart beginnings in June of 2001 and of course being picked up by the UFC’s parent company Zuffa along the way. Although thriving much longer than most promotions do, and despite broad audience exposure via a television deal with the Versus network, recent statistics suggested that the lighter weight fights were suffering from a lack of hype boost that the UFC name recognition provides. With that being the case and fans long-expressing their desire for 135, 145, and 155 lbs. WEC fighters to get similar spotlight and pay as their heavier UFC colleagues do, Zuffa has now pulled the trigger on a rumored merger.

December 16, 2010 will be the last WEC-branded event and in the interview below, you’ll see that White mentions all WEC fighters and staff are now considered in the UFC effectively immediately. This can only mean bigger and better things for the folks who made the sister promotion such a success for many years. Congratulations to World Extreme Cagefighting, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Zuffa. The best seems yet to come.