Former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante had gone two years without a legitimate win inside the cage. The last win for the Brazilian was a knock out over Olympic silver medallist Yoel Romero at Strikeforce: Barnett vs Kharitonov back in September 2011.
His next and only fight of 2012 was a first round submission win in his rematch over Mike Kyle; the bout was later changed to a no contest after Cavalcante tested positive for stanozolol in a post-fight drug test.
‘Feijao’s’ next fight was his UFC debut back in June against fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva, Cavalcante lost that fight which was a back and forth war that earned both men ‘Fight Of The Night’ honours. But last weekend at UFC Fight Night 32 ‘Feijao’ got back in the win column with his first round destruction over Igor Pokrajac.
For Cavalcante everything went just as he and his camp expected. ‘Feijao’ ended his fight with Pokrajac with some vicious knees from the thai clinch. Speaking after his fight Cavalcante said just minutes before the bout he had perfected the technique with his training partners. The Brazilian also revealed some tips for devastating technique.
“I always had some good knees from the clinch, and Anderson (Silva) has taught me a lot for a long time. Rodrigo (Nogueira) told me minutes before the fight that Pokrajac would try the clinch as soon as he felt the power of my hands, so I had to clinch him first, that’s what I did. I landed the knees and it was over.”
“I always throw the knees to the body first, forcing him to defend himself and let his face open, I knew he was hurt as soon as I landed the first knee. This is what I do. I’m an aggressive fighter and my physical conditioning is getting better and better. I just have to thank my team for that.”
‘Feijao’ would have been feeling very uncomfortable coming into the bout. A loss to Pokrajac would have made the Brazilian 1-3 (1) in his last five and that’s easily enough to be handed his pink slip by the UFC. Cavalcante knew he needed a win but said he used the pressure to his advantage.
“I needed this win so bad. After I got to the top at Strikeforce, I had no more goals in my career so I lost focus. I’m back, focused on what I need to focus, and I’m in the best shape of my life.”
The Brazilian is hoping to keep his momentum going after his last win and will try and forget about his last loss to Silva. As for who he wants to fight next, ‘Feijao’ had this to say.
“I will fight anyone UFC puts in front of me.”