Fans won’t have to go back all that far to find a time when UFC President Dana White didn’t seem to have a care in the world about allegations of fight fixing in the UFC.
“I am not worried about it at all,” White said of the controversy surrounding Glory MMA coach and professional gambling tout James Krause, and the investigation into a bout between Krause-trained athlete Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke at a November UFC Fight Night.
That was just back on December 11th at the UFC 282 post-fight presser. While the UFC boss reinforced that opinion with a reminder that the costs to athletes for engaging in that kind of illegal activity were far higher than the money they could get for throwing bouts, it seems he felt the UFC could stay clear of the fallout. “If you are that f-cking stupid—and anyone else wants to do it—knock yourself out,” White added.
It’s unclear if something has changed between then and now. Certainly the cessation of UFC-related gambling in both Alberta and Ontario provinces in Canada, along with the continued investigation surrounding Krause and his athletes, could be adding more pressure. Whatever the cause, White sounded notably more cautious on the issue in a recent interview with ESPN.
“Huge concern,” White said of the topic of ‘fight fixing’ in a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “Now it is. Now that there’s an investigation and it could be possible that it happened. Now it’s something that we really have to—
Dana White on fight fixing in MMA: Huge concern. Now it is.pic.twitter.com/MWINlS2A9X
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) December 13, 2022
“You know, we’ve always told fighters—as all the gambling stuff started to heat up—‘Stay away from gambling. Obviously, don’t—’ I mean, do you know how stupid you have to be to get involved in something like that? Everybody—it gets caught. You always get caught. And all they have to do is follow the money. Follow the money, you know? But there’s a lot of people in prison for really dumb stuff. People really are that stupid and, you know, things are gonna happen.
“And if this is all true, and this investigation ends up that this really happened people are going to go to prison. People aren’t going to go to jail, people are going to go to prison. And hopefully everybody else is watching and taking notes.”
In a recent interview with TSN’s Aaaron Bronsteter White reaffirmed that the UFC was barring all Krause-trained fighters from competing in the promotion until the investigation into his gambling activities has concluded.
The UFC already cut ties with Darrick Minner following his loss to Neurdanbieke. Glory MMA fighter and UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno voiced his support for Krause in a post to his Instagram account earlier in December, but recent videos show him now training at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas for his January 21st bout against Deiveson Figueiredo.
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