Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have announced a sponsorship agreement with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), which will see UFC provide financial backing to the organisation.
UFC will also give administrative support while helping the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) continue to reach a global platform.
As part of the agreement, UFC will play host to the 2015 IMMAF World Championships, due to take place in Las Vegas during International Fight Week from July 6 to 11.
The week will conclude with the UFC Fan Expo, due to be held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center.
“IMMAF's renewed and strengthened partnership with UFC is game-changing for MMA as a whole,” IMMAF chief executive Densign White said.
“Not only do we have the continued support of a key originator of contemporary mixed martial arts, but also of the world's biggest player in the sport; based on its confidence that IMMAF can and is making a difference.
“IMMAF's main work is to develop safety standards for all participants, particularly at recreational and amateur levels.”
White, who competed in judo at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games for Great Britain, claimed deal will help MMA develop even further across the world.
“The forward thinking approach of UFC in supporting IMMAF, which evolved from the MMA community for the MMA community, will surely help the sport to develop,” he added.
“Longer term it will enable the sport to prosper and grow to a point where its participants can enjoy the same levels of protection, education, respect and benefits as those practicing other sports.
“UFC partnership will help IMMAF substantially on many levels, from commercial to technical to media, and in turn this will benefit amateur MMA's practitioners globally.”
The announcement comes after UFC stood down from a sponsorship deal with the British Judo Association (BJA) after the European Judo Union (EJU) stripped Glasgow, Scotland of the right to host this year’s European Judo Championships.
The EJU claimed the deal between UFC and the BJA did not “meet EJU values” and that they didn’t meet the criteria to stage their flagship event.
The organisation subsequently awarded the event to Azerbaijani capital Baku, and the Championships will now take place as part of the inaugural European Games.
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