By Michael Pavitt

Glasgow hosted the European Judo Open, in addition the the Commonwealth Games in 2014 ©Glasgow 2015UFC, which claims to be the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation, has become a partner of the 2015 European Judo Championships in Glasgow in April, it has been announced. 

UFC will support the Championships, due to take place between April 9 and 12 at the Emirates Arena, with branding, marketing and by promoting it to its audience of mixed martial artists. 

"It's superb to see the cross collaboration between mixed martial arts and individual combat sports, this is the development of sport and it's important to embrace it," said Scottish UFC fighter Robert Whiteford, a former judoka. 

"Sharing techniques, skills and knowledge is important for personal, professional and physical development.

"The UFC's involvement in supporting the European Judo Championships cements that forward thinking."

The partnership has been signed despite Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation, having warned last year that the migration of judokas to other sports and disciplines would represent a spiritual contamination of the sport.

But David Allen, senior vice-president and general manager at UFC, believes that the partnership between judo and mixed martial arts is an important one. 

"MMA is made up of a number of different combat sports and UFC feel it is important to see individual disciplines thrive as well as promoting mixed martial arts," he said. 

"The European Judo Championships will be a fantastic platform for fans and practitioners to see world-class sport in a great city."

Euan Burton was one of six Scottish judokas to win gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games ©Getty ImagesEuan Burton was one of six Scottish judokas to win gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

The Emirates Arena was the stage for judo competition in the Commonwealth Games, where Scotland claimed six golds medals, perhaps most memorably Euan Burton's triumphant victory in his gold medal match, and the venue also staged the 2014 European Judo Open.

It will be the first time Britain has hosted the European Judo Championships since Birmingham in 1995. 

"We're looking forward to seeing our British Judo team supported over the four days of competition and we know from the Commonwealth Games that there is a real appetite for spectating at large scale judo events like this in Glasgow," said Kerrith Brown, chairman of British Judo.  

"I would urge our British sports fans to make the most of this opportunity to cheer on our British Judo team on the road to Rio 2016."

The European Judo Championships will take place in the Emirates Arena ©Glasgow 2015The European Judo Championships will take place in the Emirates Arena ©Glasgow 2015

The 2015 Championships will form part of UK Sport's National Lottery events programme which aims to help athletes with their preparation and Olympic qualification for Rio 2016.

"The welcome return of the European Championships to the UK will give thousands of people the opportunity to witness world class sport first hand and also makes excellent use of a Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venue," said Simon Morton, director of major events and international relations at UK Sport.

"There is also a crucial performance element to UK Sport's bidding and hosting strategy as we know our athletes thrive on competing in a home environment and these Championships can play a key role in their preparations on the road to Rio 2016.

"The UK has built a reputation for staging outstanding major sporting events thanks to a compelling mix of world class facilities, great infrastructure, technical know-how and passionate and knowledgeable fans."

Tickets are available from 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

elated stories
January 2015: European Judo Championships launch mascot design competition
June 2013: Glasgow awarded 2015 European Judo Championships