At the beginning of the month the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a landmark deal to sponsor the European Judo Championships which takes place from April 9-12 at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. It seems, however, that the partnership has came to an abrupt and untimely end.
The European Judo Union (EJU) has allegedly threatened to cancel the European Championships if the competition remained affiliated with the UFC.
David Allen, Senior Vice President and General Manager UFC EMEA spoke of his disappointment at having to end the sponsorship
"We love to see sport thrive and athletes prosper, which is why the UFC prides itself on supporting all combat sports both mixed and individual disciplines. Our aim was to help Judo reach a new audience, increase promotion, help to sell tickets and create a buzz around the European judo Championships. It is disappointing to see that the European Judo Union cannot see the benefits of collaboration and celebration of all sports."
Regardless of the reasoning behind the alleged objection it comes as a big blow to the sport of Judo which has seen a resurgence in the UK in recent years. Judo has also made it's renaissance in MMA as of late. Daniel Kelly and Ronda Rousey,who both appeared at the Olympics, are the most recognizable practitioners of the art that currently compete inside the Octagon.
At the time of writing the EJU has not made a public statement on the matter and the UFC has not disclosed the reasoning behind the EJU's alleged objection.
The European Judo Championships takes place from April 9-12 at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.