Suspicious wagering patterns that were seen for a recent UFC fight have launched an investigation in the gambling world.
U.S. Integrity, a firm that monitors gambling in the United States, is currently looking into what caused sudden, last-minute wagers to be placed on a featherweight fight last weekend between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. News of this investigation was first reported by David Purdum and Marc Raimondi of ESPN.
Nuerdanbieke’s odds as a favorite for his fight nearly doubled in the hours leading up to it. Sportsbooks initially reflected him as a -200 favorite for nearly the entire fight week, per the database BestFightOdds. However, in the final hours before the fight took place, Nuerdanbieke’s favorite status swelled to -400 in some sportsbooks.
As reflected in the odds, Nuerdanbieke steamrolled Minner for a quick first-round victory.
A leg injury caused Minner to lose his fight against Nuerdanbieke in the first round. After throwing a kick to the body of Nuerdanbieke, Minner backed up and clearly felt pain from the move. Nuerdanbieke pounced on him after this moment, getting him to the ground and finishing him with strikes in just over a minute.
The unusual movement of betting placed on this fight alarmed those working within the industry. Sportsbooks reportedly got in touch with U.S. Integrity, who started their investigation on Saturday night before the fight started.
Their investigation remains ongoing.
It’s worth noting that U.S. Integrity does not have the ability to enforce any direct sanctions on anyone involved in the bout or oddsmaking through their investigation. However, they are able to reach a conclusion through their research and notify those whom they work with.
On Monday, Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports obtained a statement from the UFC, stating that Don Best Sports, their “betting integrity partner,” is also currently doing an investigation.
“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,” the statement said.