Caleb from MMA Predictions blog has the scoop:
Knowing that Parisyan will likely include his bone-jarring judo background to keep him on track for a title shot, Thiago Alves has enlisted special help to prepare for their fight in the form of four-time national judo champion and former Olympian Rhadi Ferguson, who now resides in Coconut Creek, Florida, and assists American Top Team athletes. Recently Ferguson podcasted
regarding the work he's been doing with Alves and had the following comments:
"From studying Karo Parisyan, he has a system that he does which is absolutely phenomenal. I had to break that thing down like a fraction. It's been almost a month and a half now that I've been training with Thiago and we've gone through the ins and the outs of the series... [Thiago's] movement patterns are getting better and he's beginning to "float" real good now, moving like a judo player."
This is a really smart move by American Top Team. They should keep Ferguson on board permanently as a coach. But sadly, there's only one Karo. Despite all the talented Olympic-caliber judokas in MMA, only Karo has really managed to apply judo throws in an MMA context. They make for really exciting, dynamic fights and personally I don't care how many decisions Karo goes to, as long as he lands one or two highlight reel throws per fight, I'll remain a fan.
At the same time, I don't expect this to be the deciding factor for Thiago anyway. His best chance is to exploit Karo's sloppy head-hunting standup and land a lot of leg kicks. And Karo's best bet is to follow the Jon Fitch gameplan of getting the double leg early and smothering Thiago against the cage. Karo should be able to do that without resorting to Judo and win by beat down.
And yes, I believe Rhadi Ferguson is Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson's cousin.