One day after the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) suspended all betting on UFC fights, the UFC released a statement that the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) had suspended the license of James Krause as of November 18. Further, the UFC has released a memo notifying all fighters, managers, and associated parties that those fighters who continue to work with Krause going forward will not be allowed to fight for the UFC until the investigations into the betting irregularity regarding the UFC Vegas 64 fight between the Krause-coached Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke are complete.
The UFC published the following statement on its website:
Following the fight involving Darrick Minner on November 5, 2022, UFC was informed by sources that suspicious betting patterns had been observed on the fight. In the weeks following the fight, UFC has been cooperating with multiple ongoing government investigations into the facts and circumstances surrounding that contest. On November 18, the Nevada State Athletic Commission informed UFC and Minner’s coach, James Krause, that Krause’s license was suspended and would remain so while NSAC conducted an investigation into the matter. UFC has since advised Krause and the respective managers working with impacted fighters, that effective immediately, fighters who choose to continue to be coached by Krause or who continue to train in his gym, will not be permitted to participate in UFC events pending the outcome of the aforementioned government investigations. Further, UFC has released Darrick Minner from the organization.
Along with the safety and health of its fighters, UFC believes there is no more important component of professional mixed martial arts than the integrity of the sport. Weeks prior to the Minner fight, the organization sent formal notification to all fighters and members of their teams that they and certain other defined “insiders” were prohibited from wagering on UFC events. This was an extension of UFC’s pre-existing (and since updated) fighter Code of Conduct as well as a recognition of various state, federal, and international laws and regulations expressly prohibiting conduct that threatens the integrity of the sport including, but not limited to, insider betting based on non-public information, fight-fixing, and other such misconduct. UFC will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure compliance with and enforcement of its policies and those of the jurisdictions in which it operates.
Neudranbieke, who had yet to finish an opponent in the UFC, opened as just a -200 favorite to Minner for their November 5th bout. Between the start of the event and the time the fight took place, however, his line had swung from -220 to -420 with a number of bets for Neurdanbieke to finish inside the first round. The reasons became obvious when Minner’s knee buckled in the first exchange of the fight. Neurdanbieke finished him, via TKO shortly afterward. Gambling watchdog U.S. Integrity immediately notified sportsbooks of the irregular line movement, and opened an investigation on the fight. The UFC and NSAC followed shortly afterward.
Minner’s coach, James Krause became an immediate person of interest for many fans and pundits following the investigation, as Krause had recently made headlines for operating a popular Discord channel where he gave betting tips. The channel has since been closed along with a similarly focused YouTube account.
Krause was not immediately suspended when the investigation was opened, however he was removed from cornering a bout on November 19th. During a November 16th meeting, the NSAC suggested that they may take action against Minner, as he had failed to disclose an injury suffered in training before the fight.
As per their press release, it seems as the investigation has continued that the UFC has decided to take things a step further. The promotion has now released Minner from their roster, alongside the announcement that Krause and fighters who train under him will no longer be allowed to participate in UFC events. Bloody Elbow has reached out to the UFC and the NSAC for comment, and will update this story as it unfolds.
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