L.A. firefighter busted for MMA fights while on workers comp

Raphael Davis CBS Los Angeles

Raphael Davis
CBS Los Angeles

(CBS News) On the surface, it doesn't seem like a big deal: A firefighter in Los Angeles competes in mixed martial arts fights in his spare time.

The problem is, the fireman's "spare time" happened to be while he left the firehouse on worker's compensation, declaring he was unfit to do his job.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Raphael Davis was arrested Tuesday at his home on suspicion of filing false workers' compensation insurance claims. He is being held on $30,000 bail. Investigators say that while he filed false claims from 2008-2011, Davis was participating in mixed martial arts fights as "The Noodle."

How in the world did "The Noodle" expect to get away with this one? MMA videos are routinely posted online after bouts. It didn't take long for KCAL to locate a YouTube video of Davis training in 2010 and competing in 2008:

According to the MMA website sherdog.com, the 6-foot-3, 203-pound Davis posted an impressive 12-2 MMA record. His dominant performance probably only served to bring more attention to the malingering firefighter.

Prosecutors filed four counts of insurance fraud against Davis, who filed for workers' compensation insurance between Dec. 2, 2008 and May 20, 2011, according to Head Deputy John Morris with the district attorney's healthcare fraud division. Authorities did not say what type of illness or injury Davis claimed on his workers comp insurance.

If Davis is convicted as charged, he faces up to five years in county jail.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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