Brazilian light heavyweight fighter Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante topped off the night of upsets at Strikeforce: Houston last evening by defeating Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal via TKO (strikes) in the third round to take the championship.
“King Mo” got the action started with a vicious slam and a continued wrestling-based assault. “Feijao” and Lawal would trade the momentum of the fight until the third round where Cavalcante put Lawal on his heels with punches and knees and finished the job when “King Mo” shot in for a desperation takedown; “Feijao” staved off the takedown attempt and unleashed a barrage of elbows to Lawal’s head that prompted referee “Big” John McCarthy to stop the fight.
“I hit him hard with the right hand and the knee,” Feijao said. “I saw he was hurt, but I was just going to continue to hit him. I felt his grip loosening and knew that he was done.”
“Feijao” credits his win to his coaches and to a revamped training regimen.
“I have a new coach in boxing and Muay Thai that made the difference,” he said. “I just made my dream. I saw in his last fight he wanted to get inside. My strategy worked perfectly.”
For his part, “King Mo” gave credit to his opponent and promised to return stronger.
“I just got to make a few adjustments,” said Lawal. “He fought a hell of a fight, but I’m not worried. I’ll come back stronger.”
With the win, “Feijao” improves to 10-2 as a professional and can now lay claim to the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship; the Black House team member is now on a three-fight winning streak. By losing for the first time in his professional career, Lawal’s record drops to 7-1.