Richard Replaces Chedivara, Meets Ferguson at Challengers 13

By Mike Whitman Jan 5, 2011
Due to ongoing visa problems, Canadian Ion Chedivara has been forced to withdraw from his light heavyweight bout against Dr. Rhadi Ferguson at Strikeforce “Challengers 13” on Friday at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. South Carolina’s John Richard will step in to fill the void.

Strikeforce officials on Wednesday announced the change. The event will be headlined by a welterweight showdown between prospects Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine.

According to a press release, Richard has fought mostly as an undersized heavyweight, registering just 230 pounds for bouts against larger competition.

“In my last couple fights, I was outweighed by 30 to 40 pounds, so getting back down to 205 is a big deal for me,’’ Richard said. “I’m really looking forward to fighting at this weight and excited to get the opportunity to step up and showcase my skills. I’m extremely grateful to Strikeforce for getting this chance.”

Richard, fresh off a third-round stoppage over Stephen Eakin in June, predicts he will hold a power advantage now that he has dropped to light heavyweight.

“You’ll see,” he said. “At 205, I’m one of the biggest and strongest at this weight around.”

Ferguson holds black belts in judo and jiu-jitsu, as well as a Ph.D in education from Capella University. Now a strength and conditioning coach at American Top Team in Florida, Ferguson is a four-time national judo champion and a 2004 Olympian. He made his mixed martial arts debut in August and did not register much ring time, knocking out his opponent in just seven seconds. The judoka’s second bout was more competitive but still ended 81 seconds in, with a TKO victory.

“The change in opponents doesn’t mean much,” Ferguson said. “It’s what you do the night of the fight, the changes you make and don’t make, that count. You can only fight who shows up the night of the fight.”

Strikeforce Challengers 13
Friday, Jan. 7
Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tenn.

Tyron Woodley vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Daniel Cormier vs. Devin Cole
Ovince St. Preux vs. Ron Humphrey
Amanda Nunes vs. Julia Budd
Rhadi Ferguson vs. John Richard
Casey Huffman vs. John Salter
Matt Horning vs. Dustin Ortiz
Daniel Schmitt vs. Dustin West
Stoney Hale vs. Gerric Hayes
Chris Coggins vs. Chris Wright
Thomas Campbell vs. Jeremy Wallace
Chris Barnhizer vs. Karl Willis
Josh Jarvis vs. Luke Sanders
Charles McTorry vs. Krishaun Gilmore
Jason Blackford vs. Jeremy Boczulak
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