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UFC gets in the octagon with Aurora Cannabis in ‘multi-million dollar’ partnership

Nov 17, 2018; Buenos Aires, BA, Argentina; General view of the arena and octagon before UFC Fight Night at Parque Roca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) is getting in the octagon with the UFC in an “exclusive, multi-year, multi-million dollar, global partnership” to advance CBD research.

The Edmonton-based cannabis producer said it will work with the fight league’s athletes in clinical studies involving pain management, inflammation, injury, exercise recovery, and mental well-being.

Cannabidiol or CBD is a wellness-oriented cannabis compound increasingly being infused into everything from coffee to bath bombs.

“This global partnership places focus squarely on the health and well-being of UFC's talented and highly trained athletes,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth wrote in a news release on Tuesday.

“The Aurora-UFC research partnership creates a global platform to launch targeted educational and awareness campaigns, while creating numerous opportunities to accelerate our global CBD business.”

Aurora's research will be led by Dr. Jason Dyck, a professor at the University of Alberta and a Canada Research Chair in molecular medicine. He also serves as an independent director on Aurora’s board.

The research will be conducted at the UFC's Performance Institute in Las Vegas.

“Since the day we opened the Performance Institute, our primary goal was to offer UFC athletes the best possible training, nutrition, and recovery services,” UFC President Dana White added in the release.

“This partnership with Aurora is an extension of that goal, and we're looking forward to collaborating with Aurora to find new ways to improve the health and safety of athletes who compete in UFC.”

The move follows Canopy Growth Corp.’s (WEED.TO) partnership with the NHL Alumni Association. Canopy announced in March that it would conduct a double-blind clinical trial involving about 100 former hockey stars aimed at reducing reliance on highly-addictive opioids and other pharmaceutical painkillers.

Aurora’s Toronto-listed shares declined slightly by 0.34 per cent to $11.67 at 10:35 a.m. ET.

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