Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have announced they have withdrawn their support for the European Judo Championships, due to take place in Glasgow in April, following a threat the event would be cancelled if they remained involved.
UFC had announced earlier this month that they would support the Championships with branding, marketing and by promoting it to its audience of mixed martial artists (MMA).
But, following an alleged warning from the European Judo Union (EJU) that they cancel the event if they were a sponsor, UFC have removed their support for the event, due to take place at the Emirates Arena from April 9 to 12, the first time the event has been held in Britain for 20 years.
"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," David Allen, senior vice-president and general manager at UFC, said.
"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."
But International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer had warned last year that a migration of judokas to other sports would represent a "spiritual contamination" of the sport.
Vizer, who is also President of SportAccord, also insisted that his sport, seen as one of the founding disciplines of mixed martial arts, would not "exclude collaboration and partnership with other combat sport disciplines" but said they "must be implemented within the limits of mutual advantages and without the migration of athletes from one community to the other".
MMA has seen a vast increase in uptake following the formation of the UFC, which regularly attracts huge crowds across the world, particularly in the United States.
An increasing number of judokas have opted to switch disciplines to participate in UFC, with American Ronda Rousey, an Olympic bronze medallist at Beijing 2008, arguably the most high-profile name to make the transition to a sport which continues to grow at a staggering rate.
The decision by the EJU was criticised by Densign White, the former chairman of British Judo who is now chief executive of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.
"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," he told insidethegames.
"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."
insidethegames has attempted to contact British Judo for comment.
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February 2015: UFC to help support 2015 European Judo Championships in Glasgow
November 2014: Former BJA chairman takes top role in mixed martial arts despite "spiritual contamination" warning from Vizer
November 2014: Migration of judokas to other sports would represent spiritual contamination, says IJF President