Updated: Bellator Veteran Raphael Davis Pleads Not Guilty to Insurance Fraud in California



Former Bellator Fighting Championships competitor Raphael Davis was arraigned Tuesday in Los Angeles on four felony counts of insurance fraud, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Davis, an LA firefighter charged with filing false workers’ compensation claims while competing in MMA, entered his plea at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

“The defendant was arraigned today and entered a not guilty plea,” a representative from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told Sherdog.com. “He is due back in court on June 27 for a hearing in Losa Angeles Superior Court Department 50. A date for a preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled.”

Investigators allege that Davis made false claims for workers’ compensation between Dec. 2, 2008, and May 20, 2011, a period during which he competed in seven MMA bouts and posted a 6-1 record. The 35-year-old fighter was arrested without incident April 10 at his home in Lomita, Calif., and held on $30,000 bail. He was released the following day.

“I emphatically deny all charges against me, and I have never filed a false worker’s compensation claim while working as a firefighter,” Davis stated in a press release issued Wednesday. “Further, any injuries received while competing in mixed martial arts had nothing to do with any worker’s compensation claims.

“The media has portrayed me in a light that is in complete contradiction to my personal code of ethics. I am a professional athlete, family man, law-abiding citizen, and advocate for my community,” said Davis. “I look forward to my day in court and being able to prove my innocence. I believe the facts will speak for themselves at that time.”

Davis’ most recent bout was March 24 in Geneva, Switzerland, where he stopped Berin Balijagic on second-round punches under the banner of Swiss promotion Strength and Honor Championship. The fighter nicknamed “Noodle” posted a 3-1 record during his Bellator stint, which included three nationally televised bouts.

If convicted, prosecutors say Davis faces up to five years in county jail.

This item was updated May 2 at 6:44 p.m. ET to include a statement from Raphael Davis.

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