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Scott Coker: James Krause unlikely to be licensed for Bellator events amid ‘totally unacceptable’ UFC gambling scandal

Bellator President Scott Coker doubts James Krause will be spotted in the corner of his promotion cage anytime soon.

Krause was recently banned from appearing at UFC events amid an ongoing government investigation tied to allegations of insider information influencing wagers on fights. The investigation was sparked by Darrick Minner — a Krause-coached fighter since 2020 — losing via first-round TKO to Shayilan Nuerdanbieke at UFC Vegas 64 this past November, a bout that was overshadowed by a Minner injury and suspicious betting activity in the hours leading up to the preliminary contest.

The growing scandal resulted in the commissions in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Alberta placing a ban on UFC betting (Alberta has since lifted the ban following the UFC taking action against Krause).

Following Saturday’s Bellator 289 event in Uncasville, Conn., Coker spoke to the media about the Krause situation and what it could mean for the business of MMA.

“That’s, to me, totally unacceptable,” Coker said. “Everybody has to put their foot down. I do know that the legal department is taking a look at what’s going on right now and they’ll come out with what they feel are maybe some changes that we are going to have to make.

“But that kind of behavior is just not acceptable because it could ruin a lot of good things for a lot of people that have worked a lot of years to get to a certain point. It really just can’t happen in this sport. It’s unacceptable.”

The UFC has taken a hard stance against Krause and any fighters associated with him (Minner has since been released by the promotion). A number of high-profile fighters are tied to Krause, including UFC interim flyweight champion Brandon Moreno, who fights undisputed champion Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 283 on Jan. 21.

Coker recently released a statement in support of the UFC suspending Krause, saying “Bellator MMA is a promotion that highly values the importance of independent regulation of our sport, and we will continue to abide by the mandates of the regulatory bodies which sanction and oversee our events.”

Asked if Krause could corner a fighter at a Bellator event, Coker reiterated that it will be up to the commissions.

“The thing about cornering a fighter, that’s something you’d have to ask [Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports President] Mike Mazzulli,” Coker said. “Is he going to allow the guy to get a license? Because every cornerman, every fighter, every referee, every judge, any official in this building has to be licensed by the state.

“So if the state licenses him, then I’d have to talk to legal internally, but I think these individuals are going to have a hard time getting licensed in different states until the investigation is complete.”

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