Ex-firefighter, an MMA combatant, guilty of workers' comp fraud
An ex-Los Angeles city firefighter who moonlighted as a mixed martial arts fighter pleaded guilty Thursday to filing a false workers' compensation claim alleging he was injured on the job at a time when he continued to fight under the name "Noodle."
Raphael "Noodle" Davis alleged he suffered a shoulder injury while riding in the back of a fire truck on Nov. 8, 2008. But Deputy Dist. Atty. Angela Brunson said that after Davis made the claim he continued to fight with success. During that period, he beat at least eight opponents, punching most of them out and also choking an opponent to gain victory, according to the MMA website Sherdog.com, which tracks fighters.
Davis on Thursday agreed to pay $30,000 in restitution. As part of a negotiated settlement, Davis agreed to complete 200 hours of community service before he returns in March for sentencing. At that time, the remaining three counts of filing a false workers’ compensation insurance claim will be dismissed.
Davis, a light-heavyweight fighter from Lomita, was charged in April with filing false claims between Dec. 2, 2008, and May 20, 2011. As a fighter, Davis trained at Reign Training Center in Orange County.
He began competing in 2006, taking part in such martial arts competitions as the Cage of Fire, the Strength and Honor Championship and the Bellator Fighting Championship, and had a record of 12 wins and two losses.
Davis also competed against other firefighters and law enforcement officials in events staged by a fighting club known as Badgefights. In a 2009 charity fundraiser competition in Palm Springs, Davis won his bout against Los Angeles police officer Phillip Miller.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Raphael "Noodle" Davis Credit: KTLA News