Veteran mixed martial artist Raphael
Davis pleaded guilty to one felony count of filing a false
workers’ compensation claim on Sept. 6 as part of a plea bargain
struck with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Davis, a 36-year-old former Los Angeles city firefighter, entered
his plea before Superior Court Judge David Horwitz, according to
the D.A.’s official release. The fighter was originally charged
with four felony counts, but three counts will be dropped as a
result of the plea, provided Davis completes 200 hours of community
service before his March 6 sentencing date next year. Davis also
paid the city $30,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors alleged that Davis filed false workers’ compensation
claims between Dec. 2, 2008, and May 20, 2011, while he continued
to compete in MMA contests. The fighter was arrested without
incident on April 10 and posted bail before being arraigned on May
3, at which time he pleaded not guilty.
Davis’ management emailed Sherdog.com on Wednesday morning with a
statement regarding the conviction:
“While [Davis] has now realized that continuing to train for MMA
fights was not in the scope of his doctor’s orders, he did so with
no intent of wrongdoing. It was simply a misunderstanding. He has
now accepted responsibility and remedied the situation in full.
“Mr. Davis has served honorably with the Los Angeles Fire
Department for over eight years. During the course of his
employment, he sustained verified and documented injuries while
serving the city of Los Angeles. Due to those on-duty injuries, Mr.
Davis required not only medical attention and doctor’s visits, but
underwent various surgeries, as well. Due to the extent of these
injuries, he was forced to take time off from his employment with
“It was during this time off that Mr. Davis attempted to continue
training and competing in the sport that he loves, mixed martial
arts. Due to the status the doctor put him on, he was not to work
or perform any activities that were inconsistent with the doctor’s
restrictions. Mr. Davis believed, at the time, that as long as he
could perform and maintain a certain training regimen and did not
exacerbate his injuries, that that complied with his doctor’s
orders. Mr. Davis now realizes that competing in MMA events was
outside the scope of his doctor’s orders. He has admitted to that
mistake and has accepted responsibility accordingly. He has agreed
to a disposition in court to perform 200 hours of community service
and has already paid back, in full, the amount that was earned from
the city during the time that he was off injured.
“The terms of his agreement will result in a misdemeanor conviction
upon completion of the community service. Mr. Davis, in accepting
responsibility and acknowledging his error, looks forward to
focusing once again on those that matter most, his loving family,
and continuing in his MMA career.”
Though the statement asserts that the plea will result in a
misdemeanor conviction, district attorney press secretary Jane
Robison told Sherdog.com that the severity of Davis’ sentence will
be decided by the judge at the March hearing.
“He [pleaded] guilty to one felony count,” Robison stated. “When he
successfully completes his probation and the terms of his sentence,
he can ask the judge to reduce the felony charge to a
Davis last competed on March 24, when he stopped Berin
Balijagic with punches under the Strength and Honor
Championship banner in Switzerland. A four-time Bellator Fighting
Championships veteran, “Noodle” has compiled a 12-2 record in his
six years as a pro and owns 11 finishes to his credit.