Report: UFC flyweight Jeff Molina the latest suspension amid betting scandal
The fallout from the investigation into suspicious betting patterns from a recent UFC fight continues.
UFC flyweight Jeff Molina (11-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) shows as under suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission in the mixedmartialarts.com fighter database. UFC broadcast partner ESPN reported that his suspension doesn’t have a reason attached to it, but is because he has been linked to an investigation around the Nov. 5 fight between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke.
Suspicious betting patterns were discovered in the hours leading up to that fight, which Minner lost by TKO quickly into the first round. Among the wagers that spiked the day of the fight included one that Nuerdanbieke would win by first-round knockout. It later was revealed that Minner entered the fight injured, but neither he nor Glory MMA & Fitness coach James Krause, a retired longtime UFC fighter, disclosed the injury to the NAC.
The UFC’s internal investigation found enough to release Minner from his contract, and not long after the promotion banned Krause from cornering fighters while the probe continues – and anyone who continues to be coached by Krause or train at his gym near Kansas City, Mo., no longer is welcome in the UFC.
The investigation into possible fight fixing now includes multiple federal government entities, including the FBI.
Molina was scheduled to fight Jimmy Flick on Jan. 14, but pulled out of that fight the day after the UFC’s announcement that Krause fighters are on the outs for now unless they change gyms and ditch him as a coach.
The Krause and Minner suspensions were extended by the NAC earlier this month and are based on the failure to disclose an injury, though Nevada deputy attorney general Joel Bekker said at the most recent NAC monthly meeting those suspensions could be extended if the investigation reveals additional violations.
The UFC currently counts online sportsbook DraftKings as one of its biggest sponsors, and betting odds are mentioned for every fight, either verbally or as part of on-screen graphics. In addition, the odds are a regular in-fight topic of conversation on the air among the broadcast crew.
For years, UFC fighters merely were told to distance themselves from betting on fights, including their own, as a suggestion. But more recently, they’ve been expressly forbidden to bet on their own fights, or any other UFC fight, in language that is part of their fighter code of conduct.
The 25-year-old Molina has trained for years with Krause. He won his way into the UFC through Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020 and has gone 3-0 in the promotion. In June, he took a split decision from Zhalgas Zhumagulov for his 10th straight win.