MPO Year in Review – South Korean court hands down sentence to former UFC WW for role in attempted fight fixing

December 26, 2017

Former UFC Fighter Tae Hyun Bang was sentenced to 10 months for his part in a fight fixing scheme that took place at UFC Fight Night 79 in November 2015.

The scheme had Bang taking money from an organized group to throw a fight against Leo Kuntz.  Bang was a favorite in the fight but after a vast swing in odds, the UFC put both fighters on notice of any improprieties prior to the fight.

According to the Seoul Central District Court, Bang was given $92,160 in U.S. dollars for his role.  The brokers who gave him the money were given jail sentences as well.

According to the Court, match fixing damages the credibility of the sport and had a bad effect on the country’s credibility.  Bang took the bribe and then bet roughly half of the money he received on Kuntz.  He was to lose the first two rounds of their three-round bout.  Thus, ensuing victory for Kuntz.

Bang ended up winning the fight via split decision. He had claimed he had not known of any scheme to fix the fight but received death threats due to his win.

While the fight fixing issue did not receive a lot of headlines in North America, fight fixing is a serious issue and could debilitate the sport.  The UFC advertises odds and uses them all the time when setting up storylines for fights.  The need to ensure credibility of the sport is vital.  There has been no huge gambling issues since this incident but with fighters on the prelim cards making small purse amounts, the temptation to take money is out there.  The company must still keep an eye out for those that might influence fighters to fix a fight.

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