The United States Marine Corps have ended their sponsorship agreement with the UFC, according to a report from Stars and Stripes. The official reason given had to do with politics - members of the US Congress wanted to put an end to all military sports sponsorships. Here's what they had to say
The contract with UFC expired Nov. 30 and the money was assigned elsewhere, said Maj. John Caldwell, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command.
"Due to evolving mission requirements, budgetary constraints, marketing analysis and the recommendation of our contracted advertising agency, resources previously allocated to the endeavor have been applied to alternate priorities," he said.
According to a statement from UNITE HERE, a union of hospitality members made up of military veterans, the real reason that the sponsorship was dropped was due to the actions and comments of UFC fighters and employees:
"The UFC is an organization that has tolerated people associated with it making jokes about rape, homophobic slurs and sexually explicit remarks that are demeaning towards women," the group wrote in a July letter to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos.
"We believe these statements are deeply at odds with the culture, mission and values of the Marine Corps, and the values of the people you are trying to recruit."
It should be noted that UNITE HERE seems to be closely affiliated with Culinary Union 226, who has been doing their very best to skewer the UFC for years now to further their own agenda. So basically, the latter comment is pure propaganda and likely played no part in the decision-making. It was noted that the Army also dropped a sponsorship deal with a NASCAR team, which adds credence to the Congressional issue causing the UFC/Marines deal to end.
Still, losing such a credible sponsor is a blow to the UFC for sure.