It’s Monday, but it’s not morning, but we’re still “quarterbacking” with the good Dr. Rhadi Ferguson. This week I spoke to the Doctor about the Jessica Eye situation, the upcoming Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann fight, a mixed martial arts union, and I finally got his prediction for Rousey vs. McMann and Daniel Cormier vs. Rashad Evans. Here we go…
Jack Bratcher: So here we are again Dr. Ferguson on another Monday, but this time we are a little late. What’s happened? What’s going on?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Bro. Jack I got stuck in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. My flight had mechanical problems on Sunday night and I would have missed my connection in Atlanta so I just stayed put and left this morning. I’ve been traveling all day and then I had to meet my daughter at the salon because she was getting her hair done. Today was the first time that she sat in a salon chair to get her hair done. Tomorrow she will be 4 years old and daddy is taking her for her first manicure and pedicure tomorrow.
Jack Bratcher: Okay, that’s sounds great. Congrats on your daughter’s birthday celebration.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Thanks.
Jack Bratcher: So, as the Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann fight inches closer it really does not seem to carry the same amount of hype as the Tate vs. Rousey fights. Why do you think that is the case, if you think it’s the case?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: I most certainly think that is case and it’s for a plethora of reasons. One of them being that Ronda really needs to concentrate for this fight. I’m a big fan of Miesha, but I and everybody else who knows fighting was aware that Miesha was not in the same class or league as Ronda Rousey. Sara McMann is. And Sara does not sell fights. I don’t think that she believes it’s her job to sell the fight. I think she leaves that up to the UFC and believes that selling the fight is their job and her job is to fight. That tells me that she doesn’t get a cut of the Pay-Per-View money or very little. Ronda has a good staff around her that will allow her to play the “Ms. Nice Guy” role while her corners, seconds and workout partners do a little bit of the trash talking. It’s a good strategy. But as much as I am looking forward to this card, Daniel and Rashad aren’t really talking much nor are Ronda and Sara. But, I still think this card will be a hit and sell really well.
Jack Bratcher: Are you going to the fights?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: No brother, I’m deep into my second book for the year and I just released my first one for the year on Kindle today. As a matter of fact, here’s a shameless plug, it will be free for 72 Hours on Amazon. The title of the book is “Maximum Dumbbell Training: Quick, Easy and Effective Dumbbell And Kettlebell Programs“. So please, if you are reading this, go get it. But no, I’m not going.
Jack Bratcher: Well, Doc I want to know what’s on your mind today but before you jump into that what’s your take on Jessica Eye failing her drug test? She supposedly failed for marijuana.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Well, two things Bro. Jack. First, Jessica says that she didn’t use any drugs and I believe her. Secondly, it’s 2014, are we really still talking about marijuana?
Jack Bratcher: Good point.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: I mean, I don’t smoke. And I do not like being around smoke. Weed or cigarettes, but c’mon man, we have an actor that just overdosed on heroin. That’s an issue. Marijuana will be legal in about at least half of the states by 2025.
Jack Bratcher: So what’s today topic Doc?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Today’s topic is an MMA Union. The professional fighters and coaches in my opinion need to form a Mixed Martial Arts union.
Jack Bratcher: I hear you Doc, but why?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Well for several reasons. First and foremost, to make sure that their long term and short term financial and health issues are being addressed. Secondly, to create some transparency and uniformity concerning pay at the entry level all the way up to the championship levels. You cannot treat someone like an employee but have them contractually bound as an independent contractor. Thirdly, so that these fighters have insurance and access to insurance. You can say what you want about getting hurt in fights. When I got hurt fighting for Strikeforce, it was not covered and the rehabilitation costs for me were out of pocket. And if someone would like to financially right those wrongs today, I’m available for a conversation. Fourth, the professionalism should be addressed differently. Preparing for a fight costs money, that cost should be borne by the organization as preparation for a game in the NFL is borne by the team. Once you sign a contract to fight, you should be issued monies in addition to your contract to prepare. And lastly, not that there are not other points, but so organizations can stop bullying the fighters. Fighters do have rights, but as of right now they cannot exercise them without fear of being cut or ostracized. I mean really, what professional sport do you know of where the owner or representatives critique the fighters, their effort, the referee and the judges after the fight? Roger Goodell of the National Football League doesn’t do that. But the brand is different and I can understand an organization being run the way the execs want to run it but a professional sports organization needs to have a players’ union. That’s just a fact. If you are good enough for ESPN you are good enough to govern yourself like the other sports that are on ESPN. But….. a great counter argument is that boxing does not have a union and for that I have no counter argument. I just think that a union in MMA is a good thing for the fighters. I could be wrong and welcome the counter argument. I just don’t see how benefits, healthcare, insurance, compensation transparency, dental care, vision care, and prescription drug benefits are a bad thing. But, like I said, I could be wrong. Hell, if you fight three times a year and are in training camp and training all the time to stay sharp, then that is a full-time job. And if you get hurt in training, how do you feed your family if you can’t fight when you were preparing for a fight? That is not right. That is not correct. And that is not fair. And I have seen this circumstance cripple many fighters and potential careers. At the least, if you can’t give them insurance, at least give them a monthly stipend to get a plan on ObamaCare.
Jack Bratcher: Why do you think no one has yet tried to start a union?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: You need guys who work for the UFC like Matt Hughes and people like some of the current stars of the sport to get behind such a movement but they have no desire to risk their current situation for the underlings of the sport. Not at all. Why should they?
Jack Bratcher: So what’s the solution?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: That’s not my call. I’m just Monday Morning Quarterbacking!
Jack Bratcher: Well Doc, once again, thanks for you time but today you must put the BS aside. Who do you have for UFC 170?
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: Jack, I promised so here are my picks. Ronda Rousey by decision. And Daniel Cormier via decision. And that was painful to say. But there you have it.
Jack Bratcher: Thanks Doc. Have a good one.
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson: You too Jack. See you next week brother.