Alberta joined Onatario as the second Canadian province to halt wagers on UFC over integrity concerns.
Minutes after the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis announced that decision on Friday, the UFC cut a fighter and at least temporarily sidelined a coach involved in a Nov. 5 fight where irregular betting patterns were detected.
“Along with the safety and health of its fighters, UFC believes there is no more important component of professional mixed martial arts than the integrity of the sport,” the UFC said in a statement. “UFC will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure compliance with and enforcement of its policies and those of the jurisdictions in which it operates.”
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis said it “stopped offering and accepting wagers on UFC events due to possible risks of wagering integrity.”
The move became effective Thursday, the same day the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced it would “stop offering and accepting wagers” over potential non-compliance with its betting integrity requirements.
“AGLC will continue to monitor standards implemented by UFC before reinstating betting options on Play Alberta,” the ALGC said in a statement.
Up until October, the UFC allowed fighters to wager on their own fights. To bring it in line with other pro sports, UFC fighters — along with their managers, coaches and staff — are now prohibited from betting on any UFC events.
But in November, the independent firm U.S. Integrity launched a probe after multiple sportsbooks reported irregularities around a UFC Vegas 64 featherweight contest between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke.
Bets began to flow in on Nuerdanbieke that moved the line with many of those wagers placed on an early knockout.
Nuerdanbieke beat Minner a little more than a minute into the bout, Nuerdanbieke’s first TKO of his four-fight UFC career.
Minner’s coach, James Krause, had his license suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to a UFC news release that came minutes after the ban became public on Friday. UFC also stated Minner had been released by the MMA organization.
“UFC has since advised Krause and the respective managers working with impacted fighters, that effective immediately, fighters who choose to continue to be coached by Krause or who continue to train in his gym, will not be permitted to participate in UFC events pending the outcome of the aforementioned government investigations,” the UFC said.
The UFC said is it cooperating with “multiple ongoing government investigations into the facts and circumstances surrounding that contest.”