Sam “Sampage” Hughes and her boyfriend may end up being pretty furious at James Krause. Hughes kicked off the UFC 287 card with a unanimous decision victory over Jaqueline Amorim in the women’s strawweight weight division. During the post-fight presser, Hughes let it slip that her boyfriend had bet $1,000 on her to win as a +400 underdog.
While the couple will likely be happy to have profited $4,000 in addition to what Hughes received in her fight and win bonus, Hughes could be in hot water. Unlike with NFL odds, where players were always under a strict set of rules regarding betting on sports, the UFC didn’t have much of a policy before the past year.
What some people may have missed is a scandal in the past year with former UFC fighter and gym owner James Krause, which forced the promotion to release a memo banning fighters, and their families, from betting from any fights.
Krause wasn’t hiding he bet on fights
Krause, who owned Glory MMA based out of Kansas City, was a long-time mixed martial artist who accrued a record of 28-8 before retiring in August 2022. In a memorable interview on the MMA Hour, Krause said that he had a discord channel where he charged customers for picks on MMA fights.
He said that he made more money from sports betting than he did fighting or coaching. Krause routinely made fight on every UFC card. He would also take over people’s accounts and place wagers.
Krause gets busted
Krause is being flagged as potentially sharing inside information about one of his fighters, and giving out gambling tips about that fighter in a Discord channel. What drew suspicion was how the line moved leading up to a Nov. 5 fight between Darrick Minner, who was coached by Krause, and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. As the fight approached that day, Nuerdanbieke went from a -220 favorite to -420.
Money also swelled on Nuerdanbieke to win by first-round knockout and for the fight to go under 2.5 rounds. This was suspicious because of how Nuerdanbieke fought since arriving in the UFC in 2021. Nuerdanbieke was 2-1 in his UFC career before locking up with Minner and all three fights had gone the distance.
Nuerdanbieke has a career record of 39-10 with 29 finishes, but he has not shown knock-out power while fighting for the UFC. But the Chinese fighter would go on to record a TKO win over Minner due to elbow strikes 67 seconds into the fight.
After the fight, it was revealed that Minner had hidden a serious injury leading up to the fight.
The fallout comes quickly
The strange part about Krause’s involvement with gambling was that everyone knew about it. He didn’t hide anything and talked about it in interviews. However, after the line moved so sharply with the Minner fight, the result and the line movement was flagged by sportsbooks as being fishy and in need of an investigation.
Krause was told before he was supposed to corner Miles John for his fight on April 9, 2022, that he couldn’t be there due to being suspended. The UFC would tell fighters that any fighters who continued to train with Krause wouldn’t be allowed to fight for the promotion anymore. As part of the fallout, sportsbooks in Canada refused to offer UFC betting lines for a short time while the organization put a new integrity plan into place.
UFC says no mas
On Oct. 17, 2022, the UFC sent out the memo that no fighters, nor memoirs of their families, were allowed to engage in betting on UFC fights. That included fights they weren’t involved in. This was a major shockwave as many fighters had discreetly placed wagers on fights.
Fighters aren’t even allowed to bet on themselves to win anymore. There are boxers, such as Floyd Mayweather, who have bet on themselves to win fights before, and casinos took the wagers.
What’s next for Hughes
The UFC hasn’t published any sort of punishment for Hughes. However, Hughes is a low-level fighter who may need to be worried about her job security in the promotion. Hughes is 3-4 all-time in her UFC career.
Highest was submitted in the first round of her fight with Jaqueline Amorim at UFC 287 before rallying to score a unanimous decision.