Dana White has admitted in a new interview that the James Krause betting scandal has become a huge concern for the UFC.
The promotion recently suspended former UFC fighter turned coach Krause from coaching fighters in the promotion and also banned anybody who continues to train with him from competing while an investigation continues into allegations of suspicious betting activity during a fight between the Krause coached Darrick Minner and Shayilan Neurdanbieke a few months ago.
Krause is known to be a betting enthusiast, even having his own discord channel and podcast devoted to the subject, so that raised another red flag when money started to come in heavily on Neurdanbieke to win by TKO in the first round of the fight just hours before it took place – and sure enough Minner was indeed TKO’d 67 seconds into the fight due to a knee injury.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident White didn’t appear to be overly concerned by it, telling reporters that there was “absolutely no proof” that anybody did anything wrong, but he now sees things differently, just days after Krause’s ban and Minner being released by the promotion.
“Huge concern. … Now that there’s an investigation and it could be possible that it happened, yeah,” White told ESPN when asked about the scandal, adding that, “I can’t talk about any of this stuff. It’s crazy.”
It’s become hard for White to ignore now with rumors of the FBI being involved, and meanwhile in Canada both Ontario and Alberta banned UFC betting temporarily, though Alberta has since reinstated it due to the actions the UFC have taken.
While White can’t get into the specifics of this particular case, he did state that he’d warned fighters not to get into gambling-related activity and said that anybody who tried to do anything they are not supposed to will end up getting caught and deserve to spend time behind bars.
“In every sport, somebody thinks they’re smarter than everybody else when really they’re the dumbest guy in the room,” White said. “And you will get caught — you will get caught and you will go to prison. It is what it is. If you’re that dumb and you’re willing to take that risk for money. Ruin your life for money. We can tell people until we’re blue in the face. Same thing as steroids, performance-enhancing drugs. ‘Don’t do it, USADA is testing, you’re gonna get caught.’ But this is a whole other level. … If you’re that stupid, have fun in prison.”