UFC President Dana White asserted that he had ‘zero’ concerns over the organisation’s integrity, following reports of concerns over the bout between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbiek.
Asserting that he has ‘no update’ from the investigation which was opened last month, White spoke at a press conference after the weekend’s UFC 282.
He told a reporter: “I’m not worried about it at all. People ask me ‘What is the UFC going to do?’ We’re letting these guys know not to bet on fights.”
“Do you know what the outcome of this is? If I penalise them, they get cut. But they’re going to go to federal f***ing prison. Federal f***ing prison.
“If you’re that stupid, and somebody else wants to do it, knock yourself out. There’s not enough money in it, to ruin your life, and not go to jail. Go to federal prison.”
Concerns were raised last month over the bout between Minner and Nuerdanbiek, with the UFC confirming that Don Best Sports, its integrity partner, was looking into the matter.
Suspicious betting patterns on the fight were identified, leading several US-basedsportsbooks to raise concerns with US Integrity.
As a result, investigationswere opened into the fight, which Nuerdanbiek won in a one-minute TKO stoppage.
It is reported that insiders were made aware a knee injury sustained by Minner in the hours leading up to the fight. This allegedly led tosignificant wagering activity in Nuerdanbiek’s favour.
When asked for an update on the progress of the investigation, White noted: “How would I know? Do you think the people investigating call me and keep me in the loop on this?
“Why would they tell me? There’s an investigation going on into a fight that’s been (allegedly) fixed. I know as much as you know.”
Recently, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) ordered all operators in the province to stop accepting and offering bets on the UFC in the wake of the investigation.
AGCO told operators that effectively immediately, they must cease their UFC offerings, noting that the situation has blurred lines with its standards around integrity issues and match fixing.
“The Standards exist to protect the betting public and to provide the necessary safeguards against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other integrity issues,” Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO of the AGCO, told operators in a statement.
“This is not a decision we take lightly, knowing the popularity of UFC events in Ontario’s sportsbooks. However, the risks of insider betting on events and wagering integrity should be highly concerning to all. It certainly is to us.”
The controversy and integrity investigations came just weeks after the UFC placed a ban on its fighters from betting on any fight in the competition, not just those they partake in.
Updating its Athlete Conduct Policy, the body noted that fighters are prohibited from betting on any UFC fight, regardless if they are involved or not, as the organisation sought to bolster its betting integrity mechanisms.