Promoters: MMA fighter faked own death, ruse discovered after arrest for armed robbery

Kevin Kaduk

We're not experts on faking our own death, but it would seem you might want to avoid getting arrested and charged with armed robbery and assault with intent to murder less than a month after pulling off your ruse.

That challenge, however, was apparently too much for Charles Rowan. The 25-year-old MMA fighter from Michigan was recently hauled in by police after they alleged he robbed a store named "Guns and Stuff" with his girlfriend Rosalinda Martinez and friend Michael Bowman.

Seeing Rowan's mug shot on the news came as a surprise to his promoters Christo Piliafas and Scott DiPonio. Both say they had been told by Martinez and Bowman in late February that the amateur heavyweight had died in a car accident and that they had helped raise over $1,000 for his funeral costs.

From the Associated Press:

Rowan's fifth career fight was scheduled for February in Traverse City. That night, DiPonio said, Martinez called from Rowan's phone number to tell him that her boyfriend had been involved in a fatal car wreck on the way to the event.

A distraught DiPonio and his girlfriend hopped in their car the next day and made the lengthy trek to Gladwin, where they were met by ''young kids and grandparents crying.''

''I thought for sure Charlie was dead. I mean, these people were hysterically crying,'' said DiPonio, who gave the family $150 for expenses on the spot.

Two weeks ago, Piliafas and DiPonio helped raise $1,350 in proceeds and donations through their benefit event, ''Fight for Charlie.''

Rowan had a career record of 1-3 and his rap sheet is equally as poor. He has past convictions for failing to register as a sex offender and delivery and manufacture of marijuana.

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