The UFC has entered into an agreement with U.S. Integrity, a sports wagering monitoring service, that makes U.S. Integrity the official integrity service for the UFC.
Under the agreement, U.S. Integrity will identify and analyze any unusual wagering activity across all UFC events.
UFC Insider Information Allegations
The agreement comes on the heels of unusual wagering around a match between Shayilan Nuerdanbieke and Darrick Minner. A flurry of bets on Nuerdanbieke to win by KO/TKO ahead of the Nov. 5, 2022 fight led to a massive line change, and Nuerdanbieke did win by TKO just over a minute into the fight. It was later disclosed that Minner had an undisclosed knee injury heading into the contest.
The undisclosed injury was like pouring gasoline on a fire. In an August interview, Minner’s trainer James Krause admitted he routinely bets on fights, including fights involving fighters he trains.
The New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement subsequently prohibited betting on fights in which Krause is involved. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) went a step further, prohibiting sports betting on all UFC fights pending a review.
Per the AGCO statement:
“In order to protect the betting public, effective immediately, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is requiring all registered casino, lottery and igaming operators that offer sport and event betting products in Ontario to stop offering and accepting wagers on Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events due to concerns about non-compliance with AGCO’s betting integrity requirements.”
Related: UFC 283 Betting Advice and Analysis
The UFC-U.S. Integrity Partnership
“Throughout this process, we have had productive discussions with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to address the concerns AGCO expressed to their operators,” said Riché T. McKnight, Executive Vice President & General Counsel of UFC, in a press release.
McKnight went on to say:
“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. 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. Finally, we have reiterated our expectation that our contract athletes will come to us to report any matters that might raise integrity concerns. We thank the AGCO for their cooperation, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure the integrity of our sport for the benefit of our athletes and our fans.
“U.S. Integrity will help us strengthen our existing best practices by applying their expertise in data intelligence to proactively identify irregular bout-level wagering patterns. This information can inform UFC’s response and can be preemptively shared with sports books, who can make informed decisions as to whether or not halt betting on a particular bout.”
Who Is U.S. Integrity?
U.S. Integrity is a sports integrity monitoring company that launched in 2018. U.S. Integrity wears multiple hats, as it offers education training, certification, and consulting services, on top of its core integrity monitoring business.
Per the company’s about page:
“We identify suspicious behavior by analyzing changes in betting data against a benchmark of normal betting activity. We monitor the data to see if discrepancies coincide with notable player or coaching events, reveal officiating abnormalities, or are indicative of the misuse of insider information.”
The partnership should ease concerns about the integrity of UFC matches.
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