The light heavyweight bout between American Top Team’s Dr. Rhadi Ferguson and John Richard of South Carolina opened up the “Strikeforce Challengers 13” televised card on Showtime Friday night at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Ferguson, a 2004 Judo Olympian, BJJ and Judo black belt, relied on his years of grappling experience to get the job done against the much larger Richard, who took the fight on short notice, and came out immediately head hunting and throwing bombs.
Richard, a former Division II All-American wrestler, took Ferguson down in round one, eventually took his back and was looking for the choke. Ferguson defended well, gained top position and ended the round on top dishing out some ground and pound.
In round two, Richard landed a low blow that put Ferguson on the canvas. Richard went for the ground attack but wound up in trouble as the BJJ black belt started looking for a leg to crank. Ferguson adeptly switched his attack to Richard’s other leg and locked on a heel hook for the finish.
Although still young in the sport, both Ferguson and Richard are talented professional athletes fight fans should keep an eye on as they progress in their development as mixed martial artists.
If you enjoyed this video, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Rhadi after the fight: Dr. Rhadi Ferguson talks about his Strikeforce debut victory.