Talk of the UFC’s ongoing betting scandal died down over the holidays, but flared right back up again on Thursday thanks to a fresh report by ESPN claiming James Krause, former Glory MMA and Fitness head coach, had spent years working as an agent for an offshore sportsbook.
Also included in that report are claims, allegedly from the fighter himself, that UFC flyweight Jeff Molina used Krause’s tips — potentially insider tips — to pay his car and mortgage payments for a period of six months.
ESPN included a transcript of Molina’s claims, apparently made to encourage bettors to join the “1% Club” — a betting Discord run by Krause.
Krause has been under investigation and banned by both the UFC and Nevada State Athletic Commission (via his license as a third being suspended) since a Nov. 5, 2022 fight between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. In the hours ahead of the fight, a large amount of money was placed on Nuerdanbike to win inside of a round. Already a favorite in the fight, Nuerdanbieke did just that, with Minner appearing to struggle with a leg injury from the outset.
“He’s trained w/ a lot of the fighters, lives and breathes this sport as a coach/fighter, & at times has the scoop on injuries — non-announced matchups — how fighters look like in camp, etc.,” Molina wrote in Discord messages obtained by ESPN. “In stocks this is called insider trading in MMA betting it’s called James Krause. For the last 6 months all my bills including mortgage and car note have been paid via Krause’s picks. Do yourself a favor and join the VIP.”
The admission of insider knowledge is unlikely to help either fighter as multiple investigations into the matter continue to run their course. In the immediate aftermath of the fight, U.S. Integrity, which monitors the gambling industry, and Don Best Sports, the UFC’s betting integrity partner, both confirmed they were looking into the matter.
More recently, claims of an FBI investigation also began making the rounds. After initially denying that he had any concerns over the incident, UFC President Dana White later admitted that fight fixing was now a “huge concern” for the world’s largest MMA promotion.
Jeff Molina, who is 3-0 as a UFC flyweight, was a student of Krause as Glory MMA and Fitness in Kansas. Krause has since left the gym, after the UFC announced a ban on any fighters still associated with him. Per ESPN’s report, Molina remains suspended by the NSAC, resulting in his withdrawal from a fight against Jimmy Flick at UFC Vegas 67 this weekend.
The flyweight’s response to the UFC instituting stricter betting controls among fighters this past October was perhaps telling. Molina had previously been open about his interest in gambling on fights, though there have been no allegations of anything untoward regarding Molina’s own bouts to date.
— Jeff Molina (@jmolina_125) October 17, 2022