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UFC Makes 'Enhancements' to Fighter Code of Conduct After Gambling Controversy

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 19, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 20: A general view of the Octagon prior to Dana White's Contender Series season six week nine at UFC APEX on September 20, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC announced Thursday a new partnership with U.S. Integrity to crack down on any illegal betting.

"We have made enhancements to our UFC Athlete Conduct Policy to more clearly express the prohibition against any UFC athlete from placing any wagers directly or through a third party on any UFC match, including placing wagers on themselves," UFC executive vice president and general counsel Riché T. McKnight said.

"We have also expanded our discussion of so-called 'UFC Insiders' to make clear that these same prohibitions against wagering apply to an athlete's coaches, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, and other individuals affiliated with the athletes or UFC, and that violations by these Insiders may result in disciplinary action against related contract athletes."

This comes after U.S. Integrity flagged Darrick Minner's first-round TKO loss to Shayilan Nuerdanbieke last November.

ESPN's David Purdum and Marc Raimondi noted at the time a significant amount of money had been wagered on Nuerdanbieke winning by knockout in the first round. Some sportsbooks took the fight off the board altogether in response.

UFC announced in December that Minner's coach, James Krause, was suspended indefinitely.

Krause had openly discussed his past betting habits, explaining how he earned more money from that venture than he did from coaching. On Jan. 12, Purdum reported the 36-year-old had actually worked as an agent for ABCBetting.ag, an online company based out of Antigua and Barbuda.

Amid the ongoing fallout, UFC confirmed Tuesday that flyweight fighter Jeff Molina has been suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and thus will remain off the promotion's cards for the time being.

Damon Martin @DamonMartin

Statement from the UFC regarding Jeff Molina after he was suspended today by the Nevada Athletic Commission. He's not released but he won't be scheduled to fight pending the outcome of this ongoing investigation: <a href="https://t.co/sjt1oeQTul">pic.twitter.com/sjt1oeQTul</a>

Nevada deputy attorney general Joel Bekker alleged that Molina is "involved in a substantial way" in connection to Krause and the alleged illegal betting scheme.

Minner has been suspended as well, though his punishment was tied to his and Krause's failure to disclose an injury prior to the Nuerdanbieke fight.

In October, UFC rolled out a new athlete conduct policy that explicitly prohibited fighters and managers from betting on all UFC fights.