Getting to know Strikeforce light heavyweight Rhadi Ferguson

Judo Olympian Rhadi Ferguson (in blue) will make his Strikeforce debut on Friday night as part of the Challengers card airing on Showtime. (Don't forget, it's a free preview weekend for Showtime, so you'll get to see the fights even if you don't normally get Showtime.) What do you need to know about Ferguson?

-- Ferguson has a doctorate and master's degree in education from Howard University.

-- According to Strikeforce, he is the only man to have competed in the Olympics, Abu Dhabi and the BJJ World Championships. Clearly, he'll be looking for a stand-up battle against John Richard.*

-- His cousin is Kevin Ferguson, a fighter you may know better by the name Kimbo Slice.

-- He decided to try MMA when watching fights last year with his wife.

“I’ve trained MMA fighters and participated in MMA seminars since 2005. But I decided that night watching MMA on TV that I wanted to fight. There are certain times at my age when you can say a lot of things that you want to do, but can’t. I could say I want to play in the NFL, but that could never happen," Ferguson said during pre-fight open workouts, according to a promotion press release.

“MMA was different. I was confident I could do this, but didn’t want to wait until it was too late. I can’t look back and say I regret not playing in the NFL, but I could look back and regret not giving MMA a go."

-- This will be his third fight. Despite having a submission-laden background, his first two wins were by TKO.

*Sarcasm!