Dana White: James Krause Match-Fixing ‘Possible’ and ‘Huge Concern’ for UFC
UFC boss Dana White has admitted that match-fixing is a “huge concern” for his company.
The president of the MMA giant told ESPN that it “could be possible” that match-fixing occurred in the controversial November 5 fight between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. He quickly added that an investigation was ongoing and he “can’t talk about any of this stuff.”
On November 11, he had said there was “absolutely zero proof that anybody that was involved bet on” the bout.
The featherweight-division contest between Nebraska’s Minner and China’s Nuerdanbieke lasted just 67 seconds. Minner, a veteran of 40 UFC fights injured himself in the first few seconds after landing a kick on his opponent, who capitalized to win by a TKO.
But in the aftermath, sportsbooks reported an avalanche of suspicious bets coming in on a Nuerdanbieke win in the first.
Late to the Party
Minner and his coach, James Krause, have since been suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), pending the result of investigations by several agencies, including the FBI. The UFC has banned all fighters trained by Krause from participating in its contests during these investigations.
Krause operated an MMA betting Discord page and podcast and is known to have been an enthusiastic bettor on bouts.
UFC prohibits its fighters, coaches, and staff from wagering on all contests, but it was hellishly late to the party. That regulation came only in October, less than a month before the controversial fight and four years after sports betting became widely legal in the US.
Previous rules merely prohibited UFC fighters from betting on bouts they were directly involved in. All major US leagues, whose games are arguably harder to fix, have long had strict betting bans in place. Meanwhile, NASCAR was criticized for reacting slowly when it introduced a similar ban back in 2019.
Banned in Ontario
The controversy has sent reverberations around the betting markets. That was particularly true in Ontario and Alberta, which suspended its lines on all UFC contests, citing fears around integrity.
“Am I shocked the Canadian government overreacted? I am not,” White told ESPN.
In every sport, somebody thinks they’re smarter than everybody else when really they’re the dumbest guy in the room,” White added. “And you will get caught — you will get caught and you will go to prison. It is what it is.
“If you’re that dumb and you’re willing to take that risk for money. Ruin your life for money. We can tell people until we’re blue in the face. Same thing as steroids, performance-enhancing drugs. ‘Don’t do it, USADA is testing, you’re gonna get caught.’ But this is a whole other level. … If you’re that stupid, have fun in prison.”
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