Korean fighter Tae Hyun Bang was just sentenced to 10 months in prison.
The 34 year old fighter was set to face Leo Kuntz at UFC Seoul on the undercard in November 2015. Prior to the fight the betting line saw Bang as a small favorite but swung wildly in the other direction – something entirely out of character for UFC fights. Both men were warned by the UFC prior to the match about this – which was making it quite obvious there’s a fix in place.
Korea Herald confirms :
According to the investigative authorities, Bang agreed to lose the first two rounds against Leo Kuntz at UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul on Nov. 28, 2015. The scam, however, didn’t succeed, as the lightweight fighter apparently changed his mind at the last moment and went on to beat Kuntz in a split decision.
Bang reportedly decided not to throw the match after UFC officials warned him about fight fixing following a sudden shift in betting patterns on gambling websites. The 34-year-old was first listed as the slight favorite against Kuntz, but just hours before the fight, UFC officials caught drastic changes in odds that made him the underdog and his American opponent the overwhelming favorite.
Bang is no longer with the UFC, the world’s largest MMA promotion. After the UFC event in Seoul, Bang fought once more in Germany last year at UFC Fight Night 93, where he lost to Nick Hein by unanimous decision.
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.”