Rhadi Ferguson — four-time Judo national champion, 2004 Olympic Judo competitor, BJJ black belt, American Top Team strength-and-conditioning coach, Doctor of education, and cousin of Kimbo Slice — is about to make his televised MMA debut. After picking up two first-round TKO victories this year in southern regional leagues, Ferguson has been signed to the Strikeforce light-heavyweight roster, and will make his first appearance on the main card of Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine, January 7th in Nashville. His opponent will be 1-0 Canadian rookie Ion Cherdivara, whose list of credentials isn’t nearly as long as Dr. Rhadi’s.
At 35 years of age, Ferguson isn’t set up for a long career in the sport, but his grappling ability and physical power make him more than credible. Interestingly enough, the UFC had a chance to pick him up first. Ferguson tried out for TUF 12 when the show was originally looking for lightweights and light-heavyweights. Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough pro experience, 205′ers were eventually eliminated from the season, and his grappling tryout actually didn’t go that well, thanks to a partner who did his best to stall. Ah well. Ferguson’s probably better off getting more cage-experience against dudes named Ion before moving up to the big show anyway.