Korean UFC fighter Tae Hyun Bang is under investigation by Korean police after supposedly taking $90,000 from a criminal organisation to fix the Lightweight bout he took part in at UFC Fight Night Seoul against Leo Kuntz.
Bang was supposed to lose 2 rounds of the fight and therefore lose the fight overall. However, before the fight, officials came in to both changing rooms and talked to both Kuntz and Bang, stating that they had some concerns about fight fixing due to a large swing in odds towards the side of Bang losing. The way betting odds work, the more people who bet (or the more money that’s placed on a bet) the lower the odds go, because betting odds are based on (when they fluctuate as they did in this example) the idea that the more people who bet on this one option (I.e. More people have done the research and come to the conclusion that this is the most likely option) the more likely it is to be correct due to something called “The wisdom of crowds” which is the idea that the more people guessing on something, the more likely they are to get it right (based on the collective results of the crowd). Or potentially, a large number of people (or someone betting a large amount of money) knows something the betting agent doesn’t. Like for instance, one of the fighters is going to intentionally lose 2 of the 3 rounds. So when the betting odds swing drastically one way or another, this is cause for alarm or suspicion.
Once the agents conversed with both fighters, Bang reportedly got the fear and decided to fight for real, where in which he won 2 of 3 rounds and earned a split decision victory. Reportedly, the criminals who organised the agreement placed $2,000,000 on the fight…so they probably weren’t happy about this outcome.
Soon after the fight, Bang went to the police and told them everything. He hasn’t made a public statement about it yet. However, his opponent Leo Kuntz has come out and spoke about it.
“At the time I had no idea what was going on…I wasn’t aware at the time that most of the times, when the betting lines change, it’s because a huge bet came in. Even after the UFC came and talked to me… they didn’t even grow on me very much because the bet was put down on me. They were pretty certain I had nothing to do with it.” -Leo Kuntz
Following up that comment, Kuntz said:
“I wasn’t aware at the time that most of the times, when the betting lines change, it’s because a huge bet came in. Even after the UFC came and talked to me… they didn’t even grow on me very much because the bet was put down on me. They were pretty certain I had nothing to do with it. To be honest, at the time, they talked to me when I was having my hands wrapped. We’re talking about an hour or two before I’m about to make my walk out. At that point, I’m not really thinking about anything. I’m just thinking ‘Hey, this is good for me just because it’s getting my name out there, even though something controversial. It’s still good for me as well.’ I was thinking.” -Leo Kuntz
It’s good to see he can take something positive from this.
“To me, he was not fighting like somebody who was fighting to lose,. From everything that I’ve gathered, what basically happened, from what I understand, is that he got scared by the UFC, when the UFC came to talk to him, and he panicked and decided not to throw that fight. And that’s why he came out to the police now, because he’s fearing for his life, his safety, so he went to the South Korean police. Even though he’s under investigation, too. Apparently, he was more afraid of the UFC than these mobsters that he was associated with. I don’t even think he realized he won the fight until it was over. There’s a video footage of him, they announce the score and raise his hands and he’s shocked.” -Leo Kuntz
No word yet on what Bang’s punishment will be, either by the mob, the UFC or the police but hopefully he’s doing fine and will continue to be alright.
Leo Kuntz is now fighting for Korean based organisation Road FC and will be competing in their $1 million Lightweight tournament later this year.