Well, UFC 170 is in the books and once again, on Monday we have cornered Dr. Ferguson for a moment to get his take on Ronda Rousey‘s performance against Sara McMann and where they go from here. We also discuss Daniel Cormier, Randi Miller, Jessica Eye and much more.
Jack Bratcher: Well Dr. Ferguson UFC 170 is in the books and I’m sure you have much to say, but as usual, we only have so much time so, if you don’t mind, I would just like to go down a list of people and topics and get your commentary.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: No problem but before we even jump into it I would like to comment on Jessica Eye firstly. If you’ve never met Jessica, she is the sweetest person that you want to know. She is a hard worker and is a fantastic representative for Woman’s MMA and MMA in general. In the past several weeks she has been through a really tough time. For those of you who follow her on Twitter or Facebook, I’m sure that you know that her father has been ill and for those of you that don’t follow her, well now you know. Her pop, Randy, is a cool dude man and unfortunately, was diagnosed with a pretty aggressive form of brain cancer. I’ve spoken with my wife, who is a physician concerning the type of cancer that he has and she told me that’s its pretty rough and the prognosis usually isn’t that good. So with that being said, I would ask all persons who are reading this to take a moment today and pause and pray for Randy Eye, Jessica Eye, the Eye family and the Strongstyle Gym community. Right now they have a fight ahead of them that is greater than anything that you and I will talk about today. And with that being said Jack, I want to congratulate Alexis Davis for her victory, but I do not want to talk about that fight for a plethora of reasons. First, I do not want to disrespect Alexis Davis and her victory and secondly because it’s difficult to talk about when you know the back story. So that’s that.
Jack Bratcher: Well, Dr. Ferguson, I will respect your wishes on that and scratch that topic off of the list sir. And I will also say that I concur with you and would ask all of those in the ProMMANow community and MMA communities to pray for the Eye family, and Jessica and her father.
So, Dr. Ferguson what did you think about Daniel Cormier?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Man….. Daniel Cormier’s head movement and elusiveness in the pocket is tremendous. There was not much to this fight but his willingness to stand in the pocket and exchange was superb. I did see a problem area in that he will have a problem in closing the distance at 205 against the likes of a Jon Jones because of the leg kicks and the length. Even with the height difference at Heavyweight, his speed was superb and he didn’t fight any heavyweight that were really big kickers like Jones, so that will present a problem. I could not gauge his power or if there was a drop off in power with the weight cut. I doubt it though. It seems like he lost fat and dropped water and kept most of his lean muscle if not all of it from the diet.
The fight between he and Rashad is going to be closer than I thought due to the fact that Rashad’s striking is superb and Cormier’s is getting there. Watching DC at 205 gave me a newfound respect for Rashad’s speed.
I would also like to add this…. I’ve only seen Daniel play the role of “cat.” I’ve never seen him be the “mouse.” And in fights sometimes you are the cat and sometimes you are the mouse. I’ve seen Rashad do both and his striking style is effective with both.
Jack Bratcher: Explain the roles of “cat” and “mouse.”
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Well, Jack, when I’m chasing you around the cage like Mike Easton does with that constant forward onslaught and aggressive style, we call that style “cat” and when you are being elusive, pot shotting and cutting the angles and avoiding the clinch, we call that style “mouse.” Usually fighters know how to do both very well. Case in point, Thiago Silva has a “cat” style. Dominick Cruz can do both.
Jack Bratcher: Interesting. I’ve never heard that.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: I’ve heard of it before but never explained in such easy to understand terms until it was explained to me by Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal.
Jack Bratcher: So what did you think about Ronda Rousey?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: I think Ronda is awesome and although I picked her to win with some reservation, I only did that because I was questioning how much her secondary career impacted her training. Well, boy was I incorrect. Ronda did what she’s always done and what she’s been consistently doing in the UFC and that is fully dominate the competition. And her striking has really improved. I really loved the well timed and well placed liver shots.
Jack Bratcher: Well, she obviously won. But what did you think about the stoppage?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Well, Jack you’re going to have to be a bit more specific. What do you mean “What do I think?” Hell, it was a stoppage. There’s not much to it.
Jack Bratcher: Okay, okay. Doc, do you think the stoppage was a premature stoppage?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: No I do not.
Jack Bratcher: Do you think it was an early stoppage?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Yes I do.
Jack Bratcher: Well Doc, what in the hell is the difference, if you don’t mind me asking.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Well Jack, when things happen prematurely, that means that they happen before they have had the opportunity to fully develop. A quick stoppage means that the fight was stopped quickly. I believe Herb Dean, stopped the fight quickly as he should have done because I enjoy seeing fights stopped quickly and do not enjoy late stoppages.
The liver shot did indeed drop Sara. She did indeed put her hand on her ribs. She did indeed eat some more shots. And she did not try to grab Ronda’s legs, pull guard, or initiate any movement that would let Herb know that she still wants to fight. When watching it live, it does look like a quick stoppage, but it was not a bad call. I think quick stoppages are good for career longevity.
Jack Bratcher: Who do you think can beat Ronda?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Well, it’s not Cyborg nor is it Holly Holm. The one woman that can do it though, will not be able to do it. And that woman is Randi Miller. Randi Miller could do it but she needs to be practicing MMA full time. She also needs to clean up her diet a bit and get leaner and add some more lean muscle. Randi could do it but the expertise gap is widening due to the difference in training camps and instruction. I’m not saying that her camp is not good. I’m saying it is not as good as Ronda’s. Just like there are very few schools that have training environments like Jackson’s MMA, American Top Team, the Blackzilians, etc.
Randi’s environment is okay and she still wrestles but she would need to be all-in in order to challenge Ronda. The athleticism and gas are most definitely there. She just needs to train full time. I think if she did that, she’d have a shot. But that’s the only person I see with such a shot. Because Randi is a buzz saw. She will not stop. She will not quit. And she will not go down.
Jack Bratcher: A lot of people, including myself, think that you are crazy for saying that.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Maybe so, but the fact of the matter is this. The current talent pool at 135 worldwide in MMA only has one quasi-technical equal to Ronda Rousey. And that person is Randi Miller. Now, Randi is raw, this is why I’m only speaking about talent and the skills necessary in MMA. She is the only piece of clay that can be molded into a real challenge for Ronda but I fear that she is a little bit too raw and will not have the time to catch Ronda before Ronda retires. I’d be surprised if Ronda fights more than 17 times.
Jack Bratcher: Okay, what’s your take on Sara McMann?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Sara will have a long career in front of her and will be very good for the company. She’s the antithesis of Ronda Rousey and there is a demographic out there that likes the humility that she presents in person or brand, if you will. She will do fine. I think she needs to start working with somebody like Randy Couture though. Somebody who can give her a little push or bump in terms of her personality. Because at the end of the day, you still have to sell fights. And she needs to be able to sell a good pay-per-view card. I mean really…. Could you imagine Sara Kaufman and Sara McMann headlining on a UFC card?
I’m not sure they have the selling power to serve as the main event on a PPV card. I’m not sure who’d buy that.
However, I think with the right push, McMann could be a superstar and household name. A mommy who fights and is one of the best fighters in the game is a rarity. And Sara is genuine.
I also firmly believe that she will be UFC Champion before she retires if she wants to. It will require a level of sacrifice that I’m not sure she wants to make. Life now, is not what it was 12 years ago when she was a resident at the Olympic Training Center. Her goals are different. I think that the difference in Sara and Ronda is that Ronda said that she’s willing to die in the Octagon and Sara says she’s a mom first and a fighter second. I do understand Sara’s point. I understand it so much that I sat my ass down and retired because I don’t have the wherewithal to be a fighter first anymore. Ronda still does. And she has that luxury.
Jack Bratcher: Well that’s all for right now. Who would you like to see Cormier, Ronda and Sara McMann fight next.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: I would like to see Cormier fight the winner of Anthony Johnson vs. Phil Davis — scrap the fight against Rashad. It isn’t necessary. I would like to see Rashad versus Gustaffson. This will let me, Rashad and the rest of the world know if he has a shot at the title or if he’s a gatekeeper. I would also like to see Ronda and Cat Zingano if Cat can get ready. And I would like to see McMann versus Alexis Davis in all honesty, or Jessica Eye.
Jack Bratcher: Doc, thanks so much for your time. For those that are reading this you can follow Dr. Ferguson on Twitter at @JudoDoc and on Facebook at www.DrFergFans.com.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Thanks for your time Jack. See you next week brother.
Jack Bratcher: Sounds like a plan Doc.