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UFC flyweight Jeff Molina suspected in gambling probe

Apr 24, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Aoriqileng (Red Gloves) fights Jeff Molina (Blue Gloves) during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

UFC fighter Jeff Molina had his temporary suspension extended Tuesday amid investigations into a betting scheme that he is suspected of having “substantial involvement” in, a Nevada deputy attorney general said.

Joel Bekker told the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on Tuesday that Molina is linked to the “gaming scheme currently under ongoing investigation related to [MMA coach] James Krause.”

“Evidence has come to light, leading to allegations that respondent Jeff Molina was involved in some substantial way,” Bekker said at the commission meeting.

Krause is the coach for Molina, a flyweight, as well as Darrick Minner, whose fight on Nov. 5 generated betting activity that was flagged as suspicious.

All three were suspended by UFC while the promotion subsequently released Minner from his contract. UFC instructed fighters to cease training under Krause or his gym or face a ban until the investigations were complete.

Minner and Molina were suspended by NSAC on Dec. 15.

At issue was Minner’s bout against Shayilan Nuerdanbieke in a UFC Fight Night event. Minner suffered a leg injury against Nuerdanbieke and was finished off in the first round with strikes. The early TKO paid off prop bet action that later was deemed to be suspicious.

The prop bet action was on Minner to lose in the first round and for the bout to last fewer than 2½ rounds.

Minner’s suspension by NSAC was for failing to disclose an injury prior to the fight. Molina, considered a rising fighter in UFC, had won his first three bouts in the promotion.

–Field Level Media