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UFC prohibits fighters and team members from betting on bouts

UFC betting tips

As the fight world gears up for a blockbuster UFC 280 card, the organisation’s management has made a point of clarifying its stance on betting activity.

The UFC will fall in line with most other sporting codes by prohibiting contestants, their coaches, and members of their team from gambling on fights. While this may seem slightly overdue, the announcement of the rules provides clarity – particularly regarding team members.

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As a fighter prepares for an upcoming bout, they normally train with a wider group of sparring and grappling partners who have unique access to information regarding that athlete’s preparedness. A team member might form the opinion that a certain fighter has made huge progress and is therefore likely to win the impending fixture.

Conversely, a sparring partner might become aware of a niggling injury that will harm an athlete’s performance and potentially cause them to lose. This ban would prevent such a team member from profiting from this insider knowledge.

The ban on coaches betting is also a welcome addition to the rules. Fight stables in countries such as Thailand, where Muay Thai is the national sport, are hotbeds of gambling activity that can lead to criminal involvement. Gambling debts can lead to fixed fights where an athlete is forced to take a dive for the good of those betting on the outcome, often through illegal bookmaking operations with underworld connections.

The UFC has maintained a relatively clean image to date – the occasional PED infringement or weigh-in scandal aside – and this rule seeks to bolster that reputation. The clarification of the gambling rules is sure to be welcomed by fans, who must feel confident that the sport is not in any immediate danger of being ruined by insider betting and fixed results.

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