The Jiu-Jitsu fighters are mostly honorable men both in and outside of the sporting arena. But that is not the case with Rafiel Torre, who went from a nobody and came to the limelight with a deceptive story of exceptional wins in the ring, including having a Jiu-Jitsu black belt. This is a real-life story of how deception can ultimately destroy a career.
In this article, you will read how Rafiel Torre went from the limelight to become a murderer!
Who is Rafiel Torre
During the early 90’s the USA witness the beginning of a successful unregulated UFC championship in the country.
The martial arts world was becoming a booming enterprise for pay per view service providers and PPV channels until the success was abruptly cut short by the government because it was said to be an unregulated environment.
The new regulation was, in fact, the beginning of a new downward trend for the sport. The MMA went underground, and only just a few die-hard competitors still went ahead with the sport.
Since then, the only way for fans and competitors alike to keep watch of the UFC and MMA event was through the internet. A complete opposite of what we have today in terms of sold-out tickets and multi-million selling PPV events.
Rafiel Torre came into the limelight within the MMA community with his brags and annoying super winning streaks of 14 knockouts and 0 losses throughout his career in the underground tournaments. He became notoriously infamous.
Due to the problems that were confronting the Mixed Martial Art community, there was no real record on the ground for people to cross-check the facts and to tell if his winning claim were real or were just a made-up story and therefore many people, got sold to his fake wins.
To this day, there are still many fights in the UFC that were never documented because many of them were never shot on camera and never televised on TV. Back then, when the government was still heavily clamping down on these activities, it was not uncommon to see some matches held in school gymnasiums and night clubs, this was why Rafiel’s story of unprecedented 14-0 wins was easy to believe.
A Growth in Popularity
Things started going haywire for Rafiel Torre when he had gained popularity and has become a name to reckon within the online MMA community. Making up stories about his background – about being an ex-Navy Seal and a trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter when he was a toddler, got people to start digging up stories about him and his early life.
To make the matter more complicated, his story about his been trained by his father could not hold water as there was no trace of a name that could be linked to his father except his supposed father was Carlson Gracie, there weren’t many BJJ Black Belt holders during the ’90s that is named Torre.
Rafiel Torre became so popular in the fighting circuit and was getting lots of media attention as a prolific and undisputed champion that he quickly got the attention of many sponsors including recognition from Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Arab godfather of BJJ in the middle east who happens to be the pacesetter of the sport in UAE.
Later on in his career, he was able to convince organizers to sponsor a match between him and Beau Hershberger at the ADCC, which happens to be one of the world’s respected wrestling events place. Although his opponent subdued him, this nevertheless ruined his MMA reputation.
Rafiel Torre in MMA fight
After his loss to Hershberger, he retired from active fighting and lay low for a while. In 2001, he made a comeback from retirement to fight in a professionally organized fight against the heavyweight Ioka Tianuu, who also happens to be his ex-student.
With the two fighters, it seems they have an unresolved issue that needed to be settled in the ring. The scheduled flight was tagged “Wet and Wild” as the much-anticipated fight was held in the open during a rainstorm.
Torre won the “staged” fight and was hoping to get his career back in line.
The victory was indeed the beginning of the end for Torre’s career, and as his credibility was put to question because of the way the fight was decided. It was undeniable that he paid his opponent to dive so the match could go his way.
After the fight, people decided to dig deeper and to know who Rafiel Torre was.
Surprisingly, it was discovered that his 14-0 winning streak, his Navy Seal, and his Brazilian background were all lies. It was also found that his purported name was indeed also a lie.
What happened to Ralph Bartel
After his disgrace from the MMA and other competitive events, Ralph Bartel, aka Rafiel Torre, decided to try his luck elsewhere.
This time, Ralph got into a hot romance with Angelina Richards. Both were very much in love. However, the only problem standing their way is Bryan Richard, Angie’s husband.
To actualize their dreams of living together as couples and also to live a life of riches, Angelina Richards came up with a plot to kill her 37-year-old husband – Bryan.
To Angelina, getting rid of her husband could mean her way to freedom and riches. Bryan would leave behind insurance money that would make her live happily ever after.
To put the plan in motion, Angelina Richards and Ralph Bartel requested the service of ex-marine and UFC fighter Gerald Strebendt. The assassin would be paid ten thousand grand to murder Bryan. Unfortunately for Ralph and Angie, Gerald declined the offer and left them ‘hanging in the cold.’
In the confusion of everything, Ralph went ahead, took Bryan by the neck and chokes him to death.
It was a simple Rear Naked Choke, aka ‘choke of death’ that finally ended the life of Angie’s husband.
Without an alibi, Ralph Bartel was arrested and trialed for the murder of Bryan Richards. During the hearing, he denied the murder charge but agreed to kill Bryan. He based his action on self-defense. In his defense, he claimed that the deceased got wind of his romance with his wife got jealous, and came after him with a pistol.
In 2005, in a final judgment Ralph Bartel aka Rafiel Torre, the once-notorious underground fighter, was sentenced to life imprisonment.