OFF BEAT: Firefighter collects workers comp, moonlights as MMA starPosted On: Apr. 11, 2012 12:00 AM CST
A Los Angeles firefighter who was discovered moonlighting as a mixed martial arts star while on workers compensation disability leave now faces what may well be his most vexing opponent: the L.A. District Attorney’s Office.
Raphael Davis, who prosecutors said received $30,000 in workers comp disability payments between December 2008 and May 2011, was arrested April 10 at his Lomita, Calif., home on four felony counts of insurance fraud. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
While not copping to committing fraud, Mr. Davis, 35, posted news of his workouts and matches on Twitter. For example, he announced on March 7 that he had just completed a 2.5-mile run in 16 minutes, 44 seconds, remarking “not to (sic) bad for an old guy!”
Known in MMA circles as “Noodle,” Mr. Davis 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. His most recent competition was on March 24 in Geneva, according the MMA discussion forum, Sherdog.com. His record was 12-2.
Mr. Davis also competed against other firefighters and law enforcement officials in events staged by a fighting club known as Badge-Fights. Mr. Davis won his bout with Los Angeles police officer Phillip Miller in a 2009 Palms Springs competition designed to raise money for charity, according to local news reports.