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Torre Alert: Well-Known Jiu-Jitsu Fraud David Lang Uncovered Running McDojo in Upstate New York


(“Nah dude, check out his *original* Tapout shirt. No way this guy’s a phony.”)

Well, this is coincidental.

If you haven’t read my interview with Fighting in Plain Sight director Edward Doty yet, what the hell, brah? Also, I’d recommend that you check it out, if only to learn a little more about the fascinating story of Rafiel Torre, the former MMA reporter/”fighter” turned convicted murderer. You see, back in the early aughts, Rafiel liked to pass himself off as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and former Navy SEAL who retired with an unblemished fight record of 17-0. It wasn’t until he unretired in 2001 and put on a work at King of the Cage 7 that his history of deception began to reveal itself. Rafiel Torre wasn’t a Black Belt, he wasn’t a former Navy SEAL, hell, Rafiel Torre wasn’t even his real name (although I suppose it wouldn’t have been as easy to sell himself as a native Brazilian with a name like Ralph Bartel).

In any case, I threw the article together last night, and what pops up on the front page of the reddit MMA page this morning? Only a story about a notorious Jiu-Jitsu fraud and phony war hero being uncovered running a BJJ McDojo in Cortland, New York (a mere hour’s drive from my hometown). His name is David Lang, and his similarities to Torre don’t end at the false military and martial arts credentials. No, like Torre, Lang also claimed/claims to have been born in Brazil and moved to the US at a young age. Lang even fabricated a Brazilian cousin *named* Rafael in an attempt to add credence to his claims, for Christ’s sake.

But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let us first begin to understand how Lang was exposed as a fraud in the first place (via the Police Gazette, who uncovered his most recent scam):

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Total Shocker: Ken Shamrock Rips Off Another Promotion, Pulls Out of Ian Freeman Fight


(Having completed the Jiu-Jitsu portion of his seminar, Shamrock ended things with a lecture about using an old beef bone to get a stew going. Photo via Wikimedia.)

Ken Shamrock’s downward spiral just won’t. fucking. end. The former UFC/WWF star, who has made headlines in recent years for accidentally beating up a woman in a shopping mall, begging strangers to call him for $11.99 a minute and getting bent over a barrel by the Zuffa legal team, has apparently moved on to phase 3.5 of his fighting career: outright extortion.

You see, Shamrock was expected to face Ian Freeman at an Ultimate Cage Fighting Championship event on July 27th. A few days ago, however, Shamrock pulled out of the fight and claimed that the promotion was trying to shortchange him, resulting in the fight being cancelled altogether. We know, sounds familiar, right? Only now, a pissed off Freeman is accusing Shamrock of cheating the promotion out of $5,000 and skipping town (original story here) — what’s known on Broadway as “pulling a Harold Hill.” Freeman vented on his Facebook page:

Well, everyone including myself, knew this fight was too good to be true as we know what a coward Shamrock is.

Not only is Shamrock a coward but he’s also a thief. He accepted the fight, demanded $5,000 upfront as a deposit of trust, of which was sent, and now refuses to return the money.

Not only has he demanded that money up front but also ask for his purse and ticket deal to be paid “before” he fights and this money to be sent to an American bank.

UCFC bent over backwards to stick to your Diva demands but you bitched about everything. Even to the fact that they were advertising your name to sell tickets. That’s what every show in the world does [you] dumb fuck. The fight was confirmed, and you signed and made a video signing the contract. Idiot.

While this seemed like a simple case of “he said, she said” at first, it wasn’t until we revisited an old interview with Chael Sonnen, of all people, that this case was blown wide open.

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No Jail for Chael: Sonnen Gets Fine, Probation from Uncle Sam

(For whatever reason, it’s selling much better than those “Just Turn State’s Evidence, Homie” T-shirts. Pic: DiazBros.com)

One more bullet dodged for the fighter you love to hate: Chael Sonnen will do no time for his role in a money laundering scheme in his home state of Oregon, according to MMAFighting.com. A US District Court judge sentenced Sonnen to two years probation, a $10,000 fine and the loss of his real estate license on Friday after the UFC middleweight pleaded guilty to federal mortgage fraud charges in January.

As part of the plea, Sonnen admitted he was party to “a financial transaction that was conducted or designed to disguise the ownership of funds due to wire fraud,” according to the report. Though he got off a lot easier than two other defendants who have already been sentenced in the case, Sonnen still faces some obstacles to restarting his MMA career, if his recent public spat with Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer is any indication.

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