Unusual betting activity during UFC event being investigated


An aerial view of the UFC's Octagon. (photo courtesy of UFC)

An investigation has been opened to determine what led to some suspicious betting odds fluctuation hours prior to a fight between featherweights Shayilan Nuerdanbieke and Darrick Minner that took place at a UFC event this past Saturday in Las Vegas.

Nuerdanbieke was favoured to beat Minner, however his odds moved from him being approximately a 2/1 favourite all the way to his odds exceeding 4/1 once a flurry of action began coming in on Nuerdanbieke – specifically a significant percentage of wagers were being placed on Nuerdanbieke to win by stoppage in the opening round, as well as wagers placed on the bout lasting under 2.5 rounds. This is according to a report obtained by ESPN.

Minner appeared to sustain an injury to his left knee when he threw a kick roughly 30 seconds into the fight. Nuerdanbieke capitalized with Minner on the canvas by landing ground-and-pound strikes and the fight was stopped just 67 seconds into the first round.

The dramatic line movement combined with how the fight unfolded and the fact Minner’s coach James Krause discusses MMA betting on his podcast raised several red flags and ESPN reported late Sunday multiple sportsbooks contacted U.S. Integrity, an American betting integrity firm, while the event was ongoing.

The UFC confirmed that an official investigation will be opened.

“Like many professional sports organizations, UFC works with an independent betting integrity service to monitor wagering activity on our events,” the UFC’s statement to ESPN 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.”

Is this a case of the betting market catching wind of an undisclosed injury, or perhaps something else? ESPN reported a source close to the fighter said Minner was “absolutely injured” coming into the fight.

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