Rafael Cavalcante: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Of all those who watched
Strikeforce “Henderson vs. Babalu II,” perhaps none was more
interested in the main event than Rafael
The Strikeforce light heavyweight champion knew well in advance of
Henderson and Renato
Sobral’s showdown -- which ended with a decisive-first round
knockout from Henderson -- that the winner was likely to receive a
shot at his belt in the coming year.
With his first title defense now lined up, Cavalcante discussed
with Sherdog.com his thoughts on Henderson, his cornering of
training partners Anderson
Silva and Antonio
Rogerio Nogueira, and his plans for the holidays (or lack
Cavalcante: I expect a war. He’s a tough athlete and has great
knowledge of the ring. Thank God we have three guys on our team who
have fought with him and we’ll build a strategy. I’m training for
this fight for five weeks and certainly will get there prepared.
Again, I will defend Brazil and show once again that I am proud of
Cavalcante: Yes, I will train until the date of the fight. By the
end of February, God willing, I’ll be well-prepared. I want to be
well-prepared for this fight. Let’s go to war, because this athlete
is very tough.
Cavalcante: Christmas, New Year and Carnival are over for me.
Cavalcante: I think he’s a very experienced fighter and knows a lot
in the ring. He is a complete athlete and very tough. He is a great
wrestler and is showing great evolution in the standup. On the
ground, he’s no fool. We have to get there well prepared and never
underestimate our opponents. Surely, it will be a tough fight, like
all my other fights have been. I want to show that if I’m fighting
for the belt or not, I’ll always be thinking about my next fight.
That’s my next goal, to defeat Dan Henderson.
Cavalcante: It would be very cool. Hopefully we fight at the same
event, doing our preparation and training together. With this team
of stars that we have -- me, Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo
Rogerio Nogueira, Ronaldo Souza, Andre
Galvao, who is out of the country, but he is a part of our team
and will come here to give me a hand. I will also have Fabio
Maldonado, among others. We have a great team and, for sure,
with this unity and strength, we will bring another victory.
Cavalcante: This year was very good. I reached another goal and was
able to test myself several times. That’s not for anyone else, but
for me. I can really see that what I’m doing is working, and I’m
improving in some aspects. I corrected several errors and that was
most important this year. We have to look back on everything that
has happened and fix what went wrong to make sure it doesn’t happen
again. I think I’ve been fixing up some things, but I still have a
lot to fix. It’s very difficult to train everything together. When
you begin to train more boxing, your wrestling worsens. You focus
on your wrestling, and then your BJJ gets worse. You have to be
constantly fixing. This is very difficult, but we’ll get it.
Cavalcante: I do all my training here at X-Gym in Brazil. We
haven’t discussed the strategy yet, but I’ve already more or less
formed it in my head. I’ll still sit down with all my training
partners and coaches and see what they think. I don’t have anything
specific, but I’ll definitely do specific training for him.
Cavalcante: I’ll be there with him and I think this fight will be a
great. Vitor is a very dangerous and explosive athlete. It’s gonna
be a great fight and I hope that Anderson continues as champion. We
have had the opportunity to train together several times. But at
the end of the day, it's Team Nogueira. We all wear the same jersey
and it’s Team Nogueira’s jersey, and God willing, we're gonna come
back only with victories.
Cavalcante: We are training together. We are always together for
everything. Rogerio has evolved a lot since his last fight and
everyone is talking about it. God willing, he will also get another
victory. Tito Ortiz is a tough athlete and is one of the icons of