Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will no longer receive sponsorship money from the United States Marine Corps, after the armed services branch opted not to renew its contract with the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion when it expired last month.
From Maj. John Caldwell, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command (via Stripes.com):
"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."
The partnership came under fire back in June when ZUFFA's longstanding feud with -- you guessed it -- the Unite Here Union, criticized the Marines for "supporting a group that so openly disparages women and gay people," citing instances in the not-too-distant past from some of the promotion's most recognizable names.
Like this former champion, who refuses to train with gay athletes.
UFC President Dana White was also forced to apologize for verbally berating a female journalist in one of his online video blogs back in 2009, calling her a "c--t" for a report she published alleging shady business practices. That was followed by rape jokes from Forrest Griffin and Miguel Torres.
Whether or not the decision to end the Marine Corps sponsorship had anything to do with the petition from Unite Here and the outfit's attempts to unionize Station Casinos is unknown, but as of now, the military mavens are still looking for a few good men.
Just not in the UFC.