Police are investigating an alleged fight fixing at the UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul, according to multiple reports from South Korean media outlets.
One of the reports identifies Tae Hyun Bang, who defeated Leo Kuntz via split decision at the November 2015 event, as the fighter who initially agreed to take a dive for 100 million won (approximately $88,000). Bang also reportedly bet 50 million won ($44,000) on his opponent. Bloody Elbow first brought word of the allegations coming from South Korea.
MMAjunkie.com has confirmed that both Bang and Kuntz were warned by UFC officials about fight fixing prior to their lightweight bout. Betting odds changed drastically as the contest drew near, as Bang went from a slight favorite to a significant underdog in a few hours time. That shift drew suspicion from those within the MMA community at the time.
According to another report, Bang decided not to throw the fight after receiving the warning from UFC officials prior to the bout. Bang has allegedly admitted to initially agreeing to fixing the fight and is cooperating with authorities after receiving death threats from crime figures in South Korea who bet 2 billion won ($1.7 million) on Bang to lose. Bang and three of his associates have been told not to leave the country as the investigation continues.
Bang last competed at UFC Fight Night 93 on Sept. 3, 2016, losing a unanimous decision to Nick Hein in Hamburg, Germany. The 34-year-old Seoul native is currently still listed on the roster of lightweight fighters at UFC.com. UFC Fight Night 79 marked the promotion’s first visit to South Korea.