UFC Releases Coach James Krause amid Gambling Investigation; Threatens Fighter Bans

Doric SamDecember 2, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 27: Coach James Krause provides instruction to Kevin Croom in the corner between rounds of his featherweight bout against Alex Caceres during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The UFC has announced that fighters coached by James Krause could be banned from the company amid an investigation into a possible improper fight last month.

Per MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell has informed fighters that those who continue to train with Krause will not be permitted to participate in UFC events going forward. This stems from a "suspicious" fight involving Darrick Minner on Nov. 5, which has led to Krause's coach license being suspended in the state of Nevada and Minner being released by the UFC.

As part of the company's statement addressing the matter, Campbell stated "the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy expressly prohibits UFC athletes from placing any wagers (directly or through a third party) on any UFC match, including placing wagers on themselves." The same rules apply to coaches, managers, trainers and anyone else directly affiliated with the athletes or the UFC.

According to ESPN's Marc Raimondi, Krause became the subject of the investigation after Minner lost to Shayilan Nuerdanbieke via first-round TKO in questionable fashion. The betting line on the fight shifted hours before they met in the Octagon, with money coming in on Nuerdanbieke to win by first-round knockout or for the fight to last under 2.5 rounds.

Minner appeared to have entered the fight with a leg injury, and the news of him being hobbled reportedly spread to bettors. As the fight played out, Minner threw a kick that appeared to aggravate his injury, opening the door for Nuerdanbieke to earn a quick finish. The UFC later announced that the "wagering activity" leading up to the fight would be "under review."

Krause is a former UFC fighter who successfully transitioned to a highly-regarded head coach at Glory MMA in Missouri. He's also openly involved in sports betting, hosting the 1% Club wagering podcast and a popular Discord channel where he posts betting tips, per Raimondi.

As the fallout continues from the situation surrounding Krause, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced Thursday that it is shutting down all UFC betting due to integrity concerns. It remains to be seen if more athletic commissions will follow suit.