South Korean lightweight Tae Hyun Bang was sentenced to 10 months in prison for his role in a fight-fixing scheme at UFC Fight Night 79, according to a report from The Korea Herald.
Bang was sentenced in Seoul Central District Court for taking bribes totaling $92,160 to throw his fight against Leo Kuntz on Nov. 28, 2015. The three brokers who paid Bang also received jail time, according to the report. One of those men was reportedly Pride Fighting Championship veteran Dae Won Kim. Kim allegedly acted as the middle man in the fix-fixing plot.
“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,” the court said. “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.”
Bang allegedly agreed to lose the first two rounds to Kuntz, but “The Korean Cowboy” apparently changed his mind and went on to win a split decision over his opponent. Bang reportedly reversed course after being warned by UFC officials about fight fixing. Suspicions were raised after Bang went from a -180 favorite to a +280 underdog by the day of the fight.
Bang fought once more for the Las Vegas-based promotion, losing a unanimous decision to Nick Hein at UFC Fight Night 93 on Sept. 3, 2016. The 34-year-old Seoul native became the seventh South Korean fighter to sign with the UFC in 2013 and posted a 2-3 mark during his promotional tenure.