According to a change in the UFC fighter athlete conduct policy, athletes are no longer allowed to bet on fights, even when they are not involved.
That was the shocking news that came down on Monday.
“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,” Helwani tweeted along with screenshots of the new policy.
The full amendment entitled “Wagering” reads:
“Athletes are prohibited from placing any wagers (directly or through a third party) on any UFC match, including placing any wagers on themselves. In most states with legalized sports betting, wagering by an athlete (directly or through a third party) on any MMA match put on by a promoter with which they are affiliated is illegal and may result in criminal sanction.
Athletes should also be aware that in most states these same prohibitions apply to some or all of (i) relatives living in the same household as an athlete, (ii) an athlete’s coaches, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, medical professionals and staff, and (iii) any other person with access to non-public information regarding participants in any MMA match. An athlete that becomes aware or has knowledge of any wagering in violation of these restrictions must immediately notify UFC of such incident in accordance with this UFC Athlete Conduct Policy.”
The updated policy on wagering does not prohibit fighters from sponsorship deals with sports books.
Jeff Molina, who posts his bets often, was not exactly thrilled with the news.
These are the kinds of restrictions that have long been in place for other sports
Major League Baseball has banned Pete Rose and more recently, the NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley indefinitely for betting what he claims was a total of $1,500 on the Falcons to win various NFL games.