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Marines opt out of sponsorship deal with the UFC

Brian StannFor several years the relationship between the UFC and the United States Military seemed solid with the MMA promotion delivering a handful of troop-oriented events and featuring Marines on a recent Ultimate Fighter coaches’ challenge. In fact, the latest competitor to be crowned a TUF champion – Colton Smith – is an active duty Army Ranger and some of MMA’s most popular fighters are former soldiers including Tim Kennedy and Brian Stann.

However, the military’s presence will decrease in the coming months after the Marines recently made a decision to not renew their sponsorship agreement when the deal ended late last month. The move was not necessarily aimed at the UFC specifically but the result of budget reallocation in terms of military sponsorship with sports leagues in general.

“Due to evolving mission requirements, budgetary constraints, marketing analysis and the recommendation of our contracted advertising agency, resources previously allocated to the endeavor have been applied to alternate priorities,” said spokesman Major John Caldwell in an interview with military publication Stars and Stripes.

It has also been reported that the UFC’s ongoing battle with the Culinary Union may have played a role as well when a group of veterans associated with the entity wrote a letter to military brass complaining about the UFC’s toleration of athletes “making jokes about rape, homophobic slurs and sexually explicit remarks that are demeaning towards women.”

The UFC has yet to officially comment on the matter.


  • AlphaOmega says:

    What’s the ongoing battle with the Culinary Union?

  • Dufresne says:

    Long story short, the Culinary Union wants one of the casinos that the Fertita brothers own to accept unionized labor. They don’t want that at that particular casino, so the union has been causing shit for the Fertita brothers and Zuffa for years now including actively blocking sanctioning of MMA in New York.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Ah ok, thank you. Also why would that get me thumbed down because I didn’t know? Weird people.

  • darth_irritable says:

    Hows that all working out for the culinary union, then? Dicks.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I think the culinary union doesn’t help matters but the govt. is indeed broke… I work for NYC Govt. and we rely heavy on grants and funding from the feds and as years go on the slower the money comes in and the amounts of funds decrease as months and years pass.

  • darth_irritable says:

    Rece – wouldn’t the incoming tax revenues from UFC and other shows help?

  • Rece Rock says:

    Darth- yeah of coarse… Sry Perhaps I was not clear in my comment as to what I was referring to… I meant that the military ( and all govt agencies) is working on a thin budget and probably really can’t afford to allocate dollars to advertising/ marketing and sponsorships…and that the culinary union writing letters or being vocal against the military/ Zuffa doing business together probably has less to do with the military backing out of sponsorships then the media or fans think.

    Now as far as NY not having MMA yes they could definately use the revenue from the sport and that is a speaking point for the supporters here in NYC… The culinary union has definately been vocal here in NY, assisting in lobbying against MMA in NY. I believe they must have some dealings with politians as far as campaign funding support goes because the actual union does ZERO business in NYC, they are actually just a Nevada local union, they are good size union but have no business outside of Nevada, so I’m not sure what there interest in NY is outside of fucking the UFC? But maybe fucking the UFC out of a huge market is leverage enough for them to get what they want back in Vegas?

    it’s all bullshit and power struggles…

    If I was a zuffa figure head I would get my hands on a union member mailing list and let all the culinary union members know that their hard earned money that is going to union dues is being used to fight non union interests outside of nevada state… gotta fight fire with fire.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Whether you like unions or not, the fact is that their membership is declining, not increasing. As their membership drops, their influence lessens. The Culinary Unions’ tactics won’t result in unionization of the casino. It’ll just make the union less sympathetic. You can’t fix stupid.


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