South Korean Police Investigating Fight Fixing Allegation At UFC Seoul in 2015

0

The UFC’s trip to Seoul back in 2015, UFC Fight Night 79, has become the center of a fight fixing scandal that may very well be the undoing of one of South Korea’s own UFC fighters. According to reports in South Korean media and picked up on by Bloody Elbow, an unnamed UFC fighter agreed to throw a fight for a payment of 100 million Won (approximately $88,000). Said fighter also placed a bet on his opponent that night for an additional 50 million Won.

However, the fighter in question eventually decided against throwing the fight.

The source of the payment in the fight fixing allegation is unclear, but the money would likely have come from organized crime. The fighter in question, despite being unnamed in the original reports, is believed to be Tae Hyun Bang. Bang is essentially the only fighter to fit the description of the athlete involved, who was described 34 years old, and winning a decision. No other Korean fighters won a decision on the November 28, 2015 card, which was headlined by Benson Henderson vs. George Masvidal. The age is also a match.

According to a report by MMAJunkie, UFC officials actually warned Bang and his opponent, Leo Kuntz, about fight fixing prior to the event. Both fighters denied any knowledge of wrongdoing at the time. However, a sudden, last minute shift in the odds favoring Kuntz raised suspicions with the UFC. Kuntz confirmed to MMAJunkie that

The UFC seemed like they knew something was definitely not right. They told me it was the largest odd swing they’d seen in MMA and last minute. They told me, ‘Hey, if either one of you guys goes out there and doesn’t fight, you should prepare to be investigated.’

After that confrontation, Bang (if that is in fact who the fighter in question) apparently got cold feet, chose not to throw the bout, and wound up winning the fight in the end. However, he soon began fearing for his life, leading the fighter to contact police, who are investigating the matter. Currently, the Korean is still part of the UFC’s active roster, with a record of 2-3 in the promotion. He last fought in September 2016, losing a unanimous decision to Nick Hein at UFC Fight Night 93.

Beyond fearing for his life after backing out of the scheme, the fighter may also be in violation of South Korea’s National Sports Promotion Act. Article 26.3 of the act states that

No player, manager, coach, or referee of an authorized sports betting event nor any executive or employee of an athletic affiliate shall receive, request or promise property or financial benefits in response to an unlawful request concerning an authorized sports betting event.

A violation of that section of the act involving unlawful activity by a player, coach, manager or ref can result in a prison term of up to seven years or a fine no more than 70 million Won. Simple violation of that section of the act can involve a prison term of up to five years, or a fine of no more than 50 million Won.

As the fight was apparently not thrown in the end, it will be interesting to see if the fighter does face discipline under the act, or other South Korean laws.

Latest MMA News

Daniel Cormier NYSAC

NYSAC Makes Rule Changes to Weigh-Ins Following Daniel Cormier’s ‘Towel Trick’

There are some changes being made to weigh-ins under the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC). Taking the "fool me once, shame on me" approach,...
Volkan Oezdemir

Volkan Oezdemir Was Expecting to Face a Higher Ranked Fighter at UFC Fight Night...

Volkan Oezdemir wanted a high-profile bout tomorrow (May 28), but he's getting a fellow prospect instead. Oezdemir made his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut back...
Cub Swanson Reebok

Cub Swanson Feels he Could be Next For Featherweight Title Shot

Cub Swanson believes he'll leapfrog Frankie Edgar to get the next featherweight title shot. Swason was last seen inside the Octagon in April. He defeated...
Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira Says he Visualizes Many Ways to Defeat Alexander Gustafsson

Glover Teixeira has victory in his mind. Teixeira is fighting tomorrow (May 28) in a crucial light heavyweight bout. Going one-on-one with him will be...
Misha Cirkunov

Misha Cirkunov Says Light Heavyweight is One of The Toughest Divisions

Misha Cirkunov believes he's deep in the trenches in a dangerous division. Cirkunov will compete tomorrow (May 28) inside the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. Sharing...
Norman Parke (UFC on YouTube)

Norman Parke Suffers Finger Bite During KSW 39 Title Fight

KSW 39 set an attendance record in Warsaw, Poland earlier today. Featuring five title fights and a champion vs. champion main event, the card...
Rory MacDonald

Rory MacDonald Wants Two Bellator Title Bouts This Year

Rory MacDonald sees gold in his future, but one title simply isn't enough. "Red King" made his Bellator debut a successful one inside the SSE...
Alexander Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson Says He’s Worried About Glover Teixeira, Not Title Shot

Alexander Gustafsson won't let a potential title shot hinder his focus going into UFC Fight Night 109. "The Mauler" is set to compete against Glover...
Cat Zingano

Cat Zingano on UFC-Reebok Deal: ‘Everyone’s Upset About it’

Cat Zingano didn't walk out of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) retreat feeling any better about her position with the promotion. Zingano recently told MMAFighting.com...
Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou vs. Junior dos Santos Possible For August Bout

Francis Ngannou wants a big fight and he may get just that late summer. Renowned mixed martial arts (MMA) journalist Ariel Helwani sent a tweet...