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.