After seven months waiting, Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante finally was called to fight again inside Strikeforce’s cage. Coming from a knockout win over Yoel Romero, the former champion will have his chance to revenge the loss to Mike Pyle, his debut opponent in the organization, in 2009.
“Present Feijao is much more mature, both technical and physically. I wanted it for a long time. We have unfinished business and we’re gonna solve them all now”, shoot Feijao, on an exclusive interview with TATAME, talking about the mistakes made in 2009 and, among other things, a possible fight against Jon Jones.
You finally have been slated in Strikeforce. How are the expectations?
I’ve been training for a while now. The expectation is the best possible. I’m prepared and excited about fighting again. I’ll be 100 percent and, God bless me, I’ll bring another victory to Brazil.
You fought before and he defeated you on your Strikeforce debut. What mistakes will you try to correct this time?
Training in the United States, away from my team and people… That was what made me weak. I got there, exceeded the weight limit… Now I’m with my team, at home, doing my prep with (Rogerio) Camoes, training with (Josuel) Distak and all the guys here. It’s just another story. Present Feijao is much more mature, both technical and physically. I wanted it for a long time. It’s a completely different fight. We have unfinished business and we’re gonna solve them all now.
Do you believe that, in a certain way, you had underestimated him?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t think this way. It was more of a prep thing, staying in the States… It’s different. There’s no place like home. Of course it’s not an excuse and I’m not trying to undermine him. He got there prepared, did his best and got the win.
He’s coming from a good win over Marcos Pazao. Before he had fought Antonio Bigfoot Silva, who’s a heavyweight fighter and knocked him down before got beaten up. What aspects of his game do you think may put you in trouble?
He’s very complete, man, has heavy hands. I gotta be smart with him, move a lot. Nowadays we gotta stay alert for anything. I have a really good game, I did a good preparation. My evolution on the stand-up is notable, so I hope to let loose and get the win by knockout once again.
You hoped to fight for the title. In case you win, do you think that’s what your next step should be?
I’m hoping for that or, if possible, going to the UFC. Let’s see what they’ll say about it.
Do you believe this possibility?
Absolutely. Now I’m focusing on beating him and then we’ll decide the rest.
How do you see you in the UFC? It’s one of the toughest divisions in Ultimate.
I guess it’s excellent. My game matches many light heavyweight fighters. I would like to see how it turns out. I’m not pointing out names, but I want a chance to show my work in the UFC. My fighting style sells, it’s what people like to see.
Now Jon Jones is the champion in the UFC. How do you see a possible fight between the two of you?
I guess it’s a good match-up. I’m a catcher. I don’t see him taking me down or anything like it. I guess it would be pretty nice, it would be excellent to watch, but firsts things first. First I wanna get in there, show my work, prove I deserve this chance and then we’ll think about it.