(London. February 14th 2015) The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has expressed deep disappointment after learning the European Judo Union (EJU) had threatened to cancel the European Judo Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, on account of the UFC sponsoring the event.

This follows the recent announcement from the world leading MMA organisation of a sponsorship deal that was to include promotion of the judo event to millions of MMA fans worldwide. The British Judo Association (BJA) is set to host the championships in just eight weeks’ time, from 9th – 11th April at the Emirates Arena. However, the EJU has written to the BJA threatening to cancel the event. The EJU has not stated whether it intends to host the championships elsewhere.

In the interest of judo athletes and fans, the UFC has agreed to withdraw its sponsorship but has stated its continued commitment to supporting British Judo and other combat sports associations.

As the global governing body of MMA, the IMMAF expressed dismay and pure shock by the EJU’s threat to the European Judo Championships.

“This is a devastating move on behalf of the EJU that lacks consideration for judo and its athletes; this repudiates its responsibility as a democratic governing body,” stated Judo Olympian, former British Judo chairman and current IMMAF CEO, Densign White. “The Glasgow event has taken two years of work and preparation, athletes across Europe have been training for many months and national federations have already outlaid costs for the event. The withdrawal of the European Championships would be a blow to judo’s athletes, robbing them not only of this opportunity to compete, but also a pathway to the 2016 Olympic Games.”

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.

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    Then BJA leadership should not have gone against the international and European Judo communities policies and values.
    The private and very public warnings were given, so only the BJA leadership to blame for harming these athletes and fans.

  • jeff_albertson

    Shocked? Only someone extremely stupid or lying would claim to be shocked.
    This was seen coming from a mile away with both the european head and Marcus Vizer the head of the International Judo Federation being pretty clear over what and what can not be done. Various national federation presidents like the french one were clear that judo doesnt need to sell itself for a few gold coins just so that it can give MMA legitimacy.
    The BJA thought they could try the old ‘let’s see if they blink first’ and now lost the event and managed to screw everyone in the process.
    Let’s be clear, WHENEVER an international event is run in ANY sport, there are rules about sponsorship and what you can or can not do. This is NOT a secret to anyone. You want to organize an event, these are the rules you must follow. Whether its FIBA, FILA, FINA, FIFA or any organization.
    The BJA was told no about the MMA sponsorship when they announced their deal in October 2014 especially by the official IFJ letter in November2014 and then 2months from the event decide to go with it anyways because ‘What are they going to do if we dont agree? Kick us out? Take the event from us?” was their way of thinking.
    That’s called bluffing.
    And now they lost. And so did the athletes.

    And this a-hole who heads this bogus international federation (hint, no international org has a CEO) should know ALL about this since he was the head of the BJA and is probably responsible for this.
    He’s shocked? What a liar.

    He thought he and others could bluff/bully all the other federations and two world bodies.
    I hope they have repercussions for the people responsible (dont penalize the athletes but suspend the bureaucrats who are responsible).