This past weekend Darrick Minner lost his bout against Nuerdanbieke. This wouldn’t be particularly relevant if the line for the event hadn’t moved so aggressively.
Sportsbooks got suspicious and called U.S. Integrity. It is a company located in Las Vegas that collaborates with state gaming regulators and sportsbooks to keep an eye on the betting industry. The company, which lacks enforcement power, has alerted the regulators to the unusual line movement.
This comes on the wings of UFC notifying the public they’ve banned UFC athletes and their camps from betting on their own events.
Minner in particularly is a problematic example – because he has very long and very public ties to UFC vet James Krause. Krause went on the record as a sports betting tout and even bragged to Ariel Helwani he’s made more money over the years betting than coaching.
UFC resorted to their usual PR playbook. In order to soften the blow, they relied on a good old company friend Kevin Iole of Yahoo sports.
“Like many professional sports organizations, UFC works with an independent betting integrity service to monitor wagering activity on our events,” the UFC statement read. “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.”
Iole has been a longtime ‘friend’ of the promotion. Last summer when GQ interviewed Dana White and had asked him some real questions instead of softballs he was anticipating he backtracked and went straight to Iole to unleash a profanity laced rant targeting those who seek fair compensation for UFC athletes.
Prior to that Iole published a riveting article titled “You haven’t seen the last of Conor McGregor” back in March of 2019. For those unaware – at the time McGregor was dealing with rather serious accusations of sexual assault. You wouldn’t know that by looking at the article – unless you look at the URL.
If you didn't read Kevin Iole's latest defending the UFC, he actually conflated two separate claims. He said some of Dana's detractors were happy to see him take a public defeat ,which is fair, but then accuses those who favored canceling of celebrating fighters' "misfortune" pic.twitter.com/XJBvgB6zaj
— smoogy (@smoogymma) April 11, 2020
The truth is Iole has a proven record of playing company man – and the entire reason why UFC instituted the ban in the first place was because of the legal issues.
UFC’s chief operating officer Hunter Campbell said in an interview with Yahoo Sports that many jurisdictions with legalized sports betting have laws in place that prohibit players from partaking in sports betting hence the concern.
But any definitive proof will be hard to find – and as such UFC can turn a blind eye. It remains to be seen if the company hired is capable of infiltrating Krause’s betting discord and actually finding evidence of inside information getting shared.
Minner’s camp confirmed that his knee was badly off going into the bout. And in a definitive indicator that the information was out there, the majority of bets that have come in, have come in on a particular outcome – Minner’s loss by KO or TKO.
"A source familiar with Minner's camp said his left knee was "absolutely injured going into the fight."
Major action came in specifically on Shayilan winning by first round KO/TKO.
This could have major legal ramifications if they can trace where the leak originated.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) November 7, 2022