Bellator Vet Raphael Davis Pleads Guilty to Filing False Workers’ Comp Claim in Los Angeles


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 the city.

“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 misdemeanor.”

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.

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