Everyman is a hero, the validity of MMA.Posted on January 7, 2011, 01:53 PM by iwontkillyou
If you haven't heard of Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, that's OK. Almost nobody in the general American MMA community knows much more about him than he is "a judo guy who coaches". None the less the day he steps foot into the cage as a professional Strikeforce fighter, Jan.7th 2011, our sport get's that much more legit. Ask Thiago Alves. He's been trained by him. Or ask the folks around Howard University where he played 3 sports (track, wrestling, and football) and got his Masters in teaching in 2 double-ot 2.
He is a strength and conditioning coach for American Top Team. That's right son, in case you don't know ( or live under a bigger rock than me) A.T.T. is a highly respected gym for their tough fighters produced there under guys like Ricardo Liborio and Howard Davis Jr. Check their roster of fighters and you will begin to see a trend. They are all tough as hell.
With a lot of people competing in MMA these days, it's not easy to spot the true spirit of sport all the time. This sport isn't about ego, or control, it's about both. That's where the art part of MMA can be found alive and well. Ego and control even on the fringes. Dr. Rhadi Ferguson says "I feel excited man, really blessed for this opportunity...". That's a breath of fresh air to me, avid fan that I am, and even though I like the mayhem fighters cause by using stupid words in interviews, I appreciate the even and relaxed tone of a thinking man playing this game. Guys like Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida, Fedor, Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez and Randy Couture for example show this insight into the fight game and that really puts MMA's best foot forward to the public at large. A really really smart guy in this sport is the more dangerous/like able than his heavy winded opponents. I think PPV ratings also possibly sometimes reflect this with guys like GSP, BJ Penn and Rich Franklin.
He has a Ph.D and a Masters in teaching, and also happens to hold a Braziliian jui-jitsu black belt and a Judo blackbelt. He's a 4x national Judo champion. A motivational speaker. An Olympic athlete at age 28 in 2004. He trains under the Institute of Human Performance (whatever that is, sounds heavy). At 35 years old he's kinda like an American Fedor but speaking English. Just kidding. But like Fedor, he has a spiritual minister in his training team. Spiritual training may be the fad of the future in MMA. Ask Diego "YES" Sanchez.
But seriously someone this smart, this well trained, this disciplined, stepping in the cage for Strikeforce is just a bit more validity of MMA, a truly interesting sport, with great athletes and a respectable admirable image worthy of the great minds to stoop down and watch someone get triangled from time to time.
I'm excited for his fight, and don't care if he wins or loses. We all win as fans when people of his caliber give our sport their time and energy. If people like Dr. Rhadi Ferguson are considering using large amounts of their personal time, and devoting it to competing at professional level mixed martial arts, then there is more virtue here than a bloodsport. Or at least there can be, seen through the right eyes.