The gambling controversy surrounding highly regarded MMA trainer James Krause, a former UFC fighter, reached another level Thursday when ESPN reported that Krause acted as an agent for an online sports book. Krause was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission and the UFC has banned fighters from training at his gym, Glory MMA & Fitness in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
Interim flyweight champion Brandon Moreno was trained by Krause for a fight with Kai Kara-France on July 30 in the co-main event of UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Moreno is scheduled to fight Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight championship on Jan. 21 at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but left Krause and is being coached by Sayif Saud of Fortis MMA for the bout.
ESPN reported it spoke to multiple persons who said they’d placed bets with Krause. ESPN described the job Krause filled for ABCBetting.ag as “a middleman between offshore sportsbooks and bettors.” The ESPN report noted that bettors told it that Krause provided them with a line of credit and login information.
Krause’s issues came to public light following a Nov. 5 bout at Apex in Las Vegas between the Krause-coached Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke on the main card of UFC Vegas 64. Minner threw a kick at Nuerdanbieke early in the fight and collapsed in pain. Nuerdanbieke quickly finished him and won by first-round knockout just 67 seconds into the bout.
Numerous online sportsbooks, as well as books in New York and New Jersey, reported an unusual amount of wagers on Nuerdanbieke to win in the first round and for the fight to end in less than 2.5 rounds. The UFC announced in a statement on Nov. 6 it had hired a Las Vegas firm, Don Best Sports, to conduct an investigation.
The UFC subsequently released Minner. The Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Minner and Krause for failing to disclose his injury on a form fighters are required to complete before bouts.
ESPN reported that it had spoken to Minner and that he had denied anything untoward had occurred, saying, “Absolutely not. Nothing out of the ordinary.”
Krause has not commented publicly and hasn’t tweeted since Oct. 28.