The wheels are turning on an investigation into betting irregularities during a UFC fight, and James Krause has become persona non grata until it ends.
Krause was set to appear as a part of Bantamweight fighter Miles John’s team for UFC Vegas 65, but was “pulled” from John’s corner by UFC and Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) the night before the fight. According to ESPN, “Krause should not be cornering fighters while a UFC bout he was involved in is under investigation.”
That bout under investigation was between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke on the main card of a UFC Fight Night on Nov. 5, 2022. Hours before the fight was to begin, a suspicious amount of bets were seen coming in on Nuerdanbieke to beat Minner — specifically by finish — and some even more specifically in the first round.
Nuerdanbieke would indeed go on to earn his first UFC finish via technical knockout just 1:07 into the fight.
Following the bout, it was revealed that Minner had entered the contest with an injured knee. It seems clear that someone discovered how injured he was and shared that information with a group of people ready to take advantage of the inside knowledge.
That’s where Minner’s coach, James Krause, comes into things.
Krause has made it no secret that he gambles on mixed martial arts (MMA) fights. He even has a betting podcast and a for-pay Discord where he provides picks, betting advice and “account takeovers” where he bets with pools of other people’s money to get around single user limits.
While Krause may not have done anything wrong regarding the outcome of this one fight, having this type of irregular betting show up in a fight coached by a known heavy bettor certainly looks suspicious. UFC recently barred fighters and coaches from betting on MMA fights to avoid the appearance of impropriety (full details here), and hey look, this is what that looks like.
There’s currently a lot of people looking very carefully into the situation with Krause. UFC has its, “betting integrity partner,” Don Best Sports, doing its own investigation. U.S. Integrity — a company that works with sportsbooks and Nevada regulators — was the first to issue a public warning on the situation.
It’s now clear that other gambling authorities are paying attention. According to ESPN’s David Purdum, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement passed down a ban to all sportsbooks in the state saying they were prohibited from taking bets on any fight James Krause is involved with, be it as a fighter, promoter, trainer or coach.
It’s unclear whether there could be more fallout for Krause, even if it’s determined that he had no role in the specific Minner vs. Nuerdanbieke scandal. As more and more money comes in on MMA betting, there’s a real pressure on authorities to maintain the appearance of legitimacy.
And there’s just enough sketchy stuff going on in UFC to make that a constant challenge.