Multiple reports are surfacing in Korea, citing an ongoing investigation regarding fight fixing allegations from the UFC’s 2015 event in Seoul. According to these mainstream media outlets in the country, a Korean fighter, whose identity they kept hidden, agreed to throw a bout, but ended up winning a decision against an American opponent.
The reports state that “Fighter A” agreed to take a dive for 100 million Won (roughly $88,000), and also put down a bet of 50 million Won (roughly $44,000) on the opponent.
After the betting odds changed drastically in just a short amount of time, it was stated that on the day of the fight, UFC officials constantly questioned the fighter about it, and the possibility of nefarious activity. The fighter pretended to be oblivious to it all, but many have been made aware of the money being thrown in on their contest. Fearing repercussions, Fighter A was said to have then decided to compete and fight normally.
Fighter A ended up still winning the contest, then was said to have received numerous threats and feared for his safety after. This is when the fighter reportedly contacted the police and admitted to agreeing to throw the fight.
This has prompted an investigation, with Korean officials looking to track down everyone involved in the matter.
While the original reports hid the fighter’s identity, several other large and respected outlets discussed the possibility of it being Tae Hyun Bang, without outright naming him.
They’ve pointed out that while there was a handful of Korean fighters on the card, Bang was the only male fighter who won by decision, and the rest won by TKO. Other sources also cite an unnamed ‘34-year-old’ local fighter involved in a fight fixing scandal, with again only Bang fitting the age description on the card.
It is also interesting to note that multiple other outlets have used images of Bang that have been censored, while some TV networks in Korea also aired a blurred out, but still recognizable MMA gym in Korean Top Team where he trains.
In the November 2015 card in Seoul, South Korea, Leo Kuntz started out as a slight underdog, and suddenly ballooned up to become a massive favorite over Bang. Money flowed heavily against the Korean and the switch happened in just a 1-2 hour span, which is pretty much unheard of, especially for a relatively low-profile preliminary UFC bout.
During their contest, Bang hurt Kuntz and scored a knockdown on the opening round, with the next two stanzas ending up much closer. Judges scored it 28-29, 29-28, and 29-28, awarding the Korean with the split decision victory.
UFC Seoul: Henderson vs Masvidal was the promotion’s first ever trip to South Korea.