Dana White has come out bullish in his approach to the UFC’s integrity issues after it emerged that a probe was looking into concerns over the bout between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbiek.
The UFC’s President asserted that he had ‘zero’ concerns over the organization’s integrity, adding that he has ‘no update’ from the investigation.
Dana White: ‘They’re going to federal prison’
Speaking at a press conference after the weekend’s UFC 282, White told a reporter: “I’m not worried about it at all. People ask me ‘What is the UFC going to do?’ We’re letting these guys know not to bet on fights.”
“Do you know what the outcome of this is? If I penalize them, they get cut. But they’re going to go to federal f***ing prison. Federal f***ing prison.
“If you’re that stupid, and somebody else wants to do it, knock yourself out. There’s not enough money in it, to ruin your life, and not go to jail. Go to federal prison.”
What is being investigated?
Concerns were raised last month over the bout between Minner and Nuerdanbiek, with the UFC confirming that Don Best Sports, its integrity partner, was looking into the matter.
Suspicious betting patterns on the fight were identified, leading many sportsbooks to raise concerns with US Integrity.
Subsequently, several lines of inquiry were opened into the fight, which Nuerdanbiek won in a one-minute TKO stoppage.
It is reported that betting insiders caught wind of a knee injury sustained by Minner in the hours leading up to the fight, which caused significant wagering activity in Nuerdanbiek’s favor.
‘Why would they tell me?’
Asked for an update on the progress of the investigation, White noted: “How would I know? Do you think the people investigating call me and keep me in the loop on this?
“Why would they tell me? There’s an investigation going on into a fight that’s been (allegedly) fixed. I know as much as you know.”
Further developments in the UFC integrity storyline occurred recently when the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario ordered all operators in the province to stop accepting and offering bets on the UFC in the wake of the investigation.
Citing standards that prohibit betting on sports that have sufficient integrity safeguards to minimize the risk of match-fixing or cheating, AGCO told operators that effectively immediately, they must cease their UFC offerings.
“The Standards exist to protect the betting public and to provide the necessary safeguards against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other integrity issues,” commented Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO of the AGCO.
“This is not a decision we take lightly, knowing the popularity of UFC events in Ontario’s sports books. However, the risks of insider betting on event and wagering integrity should be highly concerning to all. It certainly is to us.”
The controversy and integrity investigations came just weeks after the UFC placed a ban on its fighters from betting on any fight in the competition, not just those they partake in.
Updating its Athlete Conduct Policy, the body noted that fighters are prohibited from betting on any UFC fight, regardless if they are involved or not, as the organization sought to bolster its betting integrity mechanisms.