UFC fight under probe for suspicious betting

A US-based betting integrity firm is investigating the UFC fight night bout on the weekend between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke, after several betting agencies in multiple states across America reported suspicious betting on the first round KO.

According to ESPN, the odds on Nuerdanbieke to defeat underdog Minner shifted suddenly in the hours leading up to the bout in Las Vegas. Money flooded in from punters convinced that not only would Nuerdanbieke win, but via first round KO and under 2.5 rounds.

The suspicious action led to some bookies taking the fight off the board, according to analysis conducted by US Integrity, a Las Vegas-based firm that works with betting agencies and state gaming regulators to monitor the betting market.

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Hours before the fight, rumors spread about Minner’s health, and then just 30 seconds into the bout, Minner threw a left kick to Nuerdanbieke’s body and was visibly shaken as he reached for his leg in pain. Nuerdanbieke closed in and inevitably scored a TKO stoppage at 1:07 of the first round.

It was Nuerdanbieke’s first finish in the UFC in four fights with the promotion. Minner, a 10-year MMA veteran, has now lost three straight and four of six UFC fights.

ESPN obtained a report from the US-based betting integrity firm, which conducted a probe. He found other betting agencies across the country had also experienced irregular betting roughly three hours before the fight began.

The betting didn’t stop, according to the analysis, even after the odds moved to significantly less attractive prices. Continuous betting even after the odds dropped increased suspicions among some bookmakers and the integrity firm.

Matthew Holt, president of US Integrity, said the company cannot reveal any details of an ongoing investigation.

The UFC responded on Tuesday via a statement.

“Like many professional sports organizations, UFC works with an independent betting integrity service to monitor wagering activity on our events,” the statement said.

“Our betting integrity partner, Don Best Sports, a leading global supplier of real-time betting data for North American sporting events, will conduct a thorough review of the facts and report its findings. At this time, we have no reason to believe either of the athletes involved in the bout, or anyone associated with their teams, behaved in an unethical or irresponsible manner.”

ESPN reported that Minner is coached by James Krause, a retired fighter and known sports bettor who hosts the “1 percent Club” podcast. Krause did not respond to requests by the publication.

Minner’s manager, Andrew Lee of Disorderly Conduct Management, wrote that he was “unaware of anything like this,” when reached by text message.

The news comes just weeks after the UFC announced that fighters and their teams were prohibited from betting on UFC fights.

Bookmakers and bettors who spoke to ESPN were divided about what happened during the fight.

Some were convinced that Minner threw the fight, while others believed the bets were based on leaked information that Minner was hurt severely and shouldn’t have been fighting.

A source familiar with Minner’s camp said his left knee was “absolutely injured going into the fight.”

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