The UFC has made a major change to its Code of Conduct.
On Monday, it was revealed by MMA reporter Ariel Helwani, the promotion has now changed rules banning fighters and their teams from betting on UFC fights. The promotion says it is due to a “clear direction” from sports betting regulators. The memo was written by Hunter Campbell who provided detail on the announcement.
UFC just issued this memo to fighters and managers regarding a change in their athlete conduct policy:
UFC fighters are now prohibited from gambling on any UFC fight, regardless of if they are involved or not. They can still be sponsored just not allowed to bet at all. pic.twitter.com/6zhuIITxmx
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 17, 2022
“We are writing to advise you of a change to the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy to which each UFC athlete subscribes under our Promotion Agreement and/or Ancillary Rights Agreement. As you know, the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy requires UFC’s contracted athletes to act in a legal, ethical, and responsible manner and avoid conduct detrimental to the integrity of the UFC organization. In light of clear direction that we have received from regulators responsible for the regulated sports betting industry in the United States, we are compelled at this time to recognize in the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy certain restrictions relating to wagering by our athletes, members of their teams and certain others.
“As you may already be aware, most states in which regulated sports betting is conducted prohibit athletes from wagering on promotions or events with which they are affiliated. Many states also extend this prohibition to the athletes’ training teams, family members and others that have access to “inside information” relating to the athletes and their events. In some instances, violations of these prohibitions could result in criminal charges. The UFC’s contracted athletes are not exempt from these prohibitions, which state legislators and regulators have implemented for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of our sport. In order to assist our athletes in understanding their obligations under the laws of the majority of states in which sports betting is permitted, and in further support of these integrity measures, UFC has incorporated a wagering prohibition into the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy expressly prohibiting athletes from wagering on any UFC match. We have also provided some additional information to assist athletes determining the potential scope of state-imposed wagering restrictions on others. Note: This policy does not prohibit UFC athletes from entering into sponsorship agreements with sports betting companies. UFC athletes may continue to pursue such sponsorships in accordance with applicable law.
“We appreciate your dedication to our sport and your efforts to ensure its integrity. If you have any questions about the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy, you may contact me.
“Please click here to review the full code of conduct, including new amendment on wagering.
The news does come as a surprise as several fighters have been vocal about betting on fights. The likes of James Krause, Derek Brunson, Casey O’Neill, Jeff Molina, and more have posted their winnings online but now will no longer be able to bet. Along with that, coaches and anyone on a fighters team can also no longer place bets on UFC fights.
Some positive news for UFC fighters is the fact that they can still remain working with sportsbooks as sponsors. Unfortunately placing wagers will no longer be an option.
What do you make of the Ultimate Fighting Championship banning fighters from betting on fights?