It appears that a reportedly former UFC fighter will be going to prison for ten months after participating in a fight fixing scheme at a UFC event in South Korea.
34-year-old Tae Hyun Bang entered the cage at a UFC event in Seoul to face Leo Kuntz back in November 2015. Before the bout the betting line, which initially saw Bang as a small favorite, swung wildly in the other direction, something never really seen for an undercard UFC fight before. Both men were warned by the UFC prior to the bout about this swing, which made it look like there was a fix in place.
According to a report from The Korea Herald, Bang received 100 million Korean won (around $87,950 USD at the time) from “brokers” who set up the fix. Bang bet about half of that on himself, agreeing to drop the first two rounds of the bout. After the warning from the UFC though, he apparently changed his mind about the fix and went out to fight, earning a split decision victory.
There were also reports of up to 1.7 million in bets from South Korean organized crime figures, which led to Bang receiving threats after he took the win. He reportedly returned the money he was originally given as well.
The court released a statement about the incident after the sentence was handed down:
“The crime of match fixing damages the credibility of sport, and in international matches, it has a bad effect on the country’s credibility as well. Bang had an obligation to play the game fairly, but he ignored it and took an important role in the scheme. But we did take into consideration that Bang won the bout and returned the money afterwards.”
The “fixers” of the scheme, which included MMA fighter Dae Won Kim, were also apparently sentenced to jail time.
Bang (18-10, 2-3 UFC) competed once more in the UFC, a loss to Nick Hein in 2016. The Korea Herald report states that Bang has been released by the UFC, but he is still listed as an active fighter on the UFC’s website.
H/T MMA Junkie