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Former TUF contestant Rafael de Freitas jailed under suspicion of drugging and raping BJJ student

Rafael de Freitas was arrested on December 4 in New Mexico.

Rafael De Freitas during a photoshoot for The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate. Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

[CW: The following article details a report of sexual assault]

According to MMA Fighting former TUF 18 cast member Rafael de Freitas, who worked as a jiu jitsu coach in Albuquerque, NM, has been arrested and charged with third-degree sexual penetration.

Freitas, 37, was arrested on December 4 and will remain in custody until his trial at a date to be determined. The criminal complaint against Freitas states that a woman has accused Freitas of drugging her during a BJJ lesson at her home on November 7. The document stated that the woman handed home security camera footage over to police. Detectives investigating the incident claimed the tape showed evidence of Freitas “possibly” putting something in the woman’s drink.

Detectives further claimed that, after the woman passed out, Freitas forced oral sex and masturbation on her.

When reporting on his arrest the Albuquerque Journal described Freitas as a coach at Jackson Wink MMA Academy. A spokesperson for Jackson Wink has denied this claim.

Responding to MMA Fighting James Hallinan said: “I’ll be crystal clear: He has never been an employee of Jackson Wink Academy. He is not an employee and has never been an employee of Jackson Wink Academy. That’s the statement I have for you.”

On a now deleted instagram profile Freitas listed himself as chief instructor for Gracie Barra New Mexico Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Freitas joined Jackson Wink founders Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in the corner of Holly Holm when she competed in the main event of UFC Fight Island 4 in October.

UFC Fight Night Holm v Aldana
Rafael de Freitas, far left, poses with Holly Holm after her win at UFC Fight Island 4 on October 4, 2020.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

As a fighter Freitas amassed a pro record of 5-1-1. In 2013 he was eliminated from The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate in the preliminary round of the competition. According to BJJ Heroes Freitas is originally from Brasilia, Brazil and was a student of Carlos Gracie Jr.. He has medaled at the IBJJF World and Pan championships.

Survivors of sexual assault can find support via the following organizations:

US - Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)’s National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also has an online chat service.

Love is Respect, 1-866-331-9474. They can also be reached via online chat or by texting LOVEIS to 22522.

End Rape on Campus (EROC), 1-424-777-EROC (3762).

Canada - Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, 1-877-232-2610.

UK - UK Says No More.

Rest of the World - International Rape Crisis Hotlines.