UFC flyweight Jeff Molina has been suspended due to ties to James Krause, who is embroiled in a betting scandal. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Jeff Molina has been caught up in a scandal
UFC flyweight Jeff Molina is said to have had a “significant involvement” in a betting scandal.
Molina, who trained under suspended coach James Krause, is part of an investigation involving several state agencies, Nevada Deputy Attorney General Joel Baker said Tuesday while meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
In association with an external sportswriter
Molina was temporarily suspended last month for an unspecified reason. It is now clear that the reason was his relationship with Krause, who was in cahoots with an outside sportswriter. His suspension has already been extended.
The controversy began during the November 5 fight at UFC Vegas 64 between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. Many states’ sportsbooks received unusually large bets, which Miner would lose within two and a half rounds, and eventually withdrew the betting lines, fearing the nefarious activity. Unsurprisingly, Miner lost via TKO 1:07 into the first round.
The New Jersey Games regulator suspended betting lines for any match involving Krause, while Canadian entities suspended all UFC betting in the immediate aftermath.
The self-proclaimed “decline of MMA gambling”
Minner and Krause were both suspended shortly after the fight. Molina’s self-proclaimed “MMA gambling degenerate” has now joined the list of exiles.
Krause was a well-known sportscaster and hosted the “1% Club” podcast, a talk show about sports betting. It was all allowed by UFC regulations and was supported by Molina.
“[Krause] He trains with a lot of fighters, lives and breathes the sport as a trainer/fighter, and sometimes even has the scoop on injuries — unannounced matches — what fighters look like in camp, etc,” Molina wrote on the 1% Club Discord channel. “This is called In stock insider trading in MMA betting he is called James Crouse. For the past six months, all of my bills including mortgage and car bonds have been paid via Krause’s Choices.”
Repercussions of the suspension
Minner and Krause were only suspended due to a leg injury not being disclosed on pre-fight medical forms. However, Baker said the ongoing investigation was linked to a “manipulative scheme”.
All of Krause’s fighters were informed on December 2 that they were banned from competing in UFC sanctioned events until the investigation was concluded. This included Molina, who won 10 straight fights and his first three fights in the UFC and is No. 14 flyweight in the UFC rankings.
In October, the UFC sent out a memo to fighters that they were no longer allowed to place bets on UFC events:
Despite this, Molina said via social media on December 25 that he was suspended for “betting on the UFC like half of the roster does.”
Miner denies any wrongdoing leading to and during his fight, during which he aggravated his injury. A doctor confirmed that he had torn ligaments in his knee.
Krause’s podcast and Discord channel have both been shut down in light of the investigation. He said on the record last August that he bets on every UFC card and usually bets on every fight, including those featuring fighters he has trained.
Krause has also worked as an agent for a Costa Rica-based sportswriter. He allegedly set up accounts, made payments to bettors and admitted to participating in gambling groups.