Brazilian fighter Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante defeated Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal by third round knockout this past August to capture the Strikeforce light heavyweight title. Cavalcante learned following the knockout-heavy Strikeforce: St. Louis event, which went down earlier this month, who his first title defense will come against: Dan Henderson, who knocked out Renato “Babalu” Sobral in the first round of their bout to earn the shot.
Cavalcante spoke with Sherdog.com recently about the fight and about Henderson as an opponent.
“I expect a war. He’s a tough athlete and has great knowledge of the ring,” said “Feijao.” “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 being Brazilian.”
Cavalcante doesn’t hesitate to give Henderson, a veteran of both the UFC and PRIDE FC, his due. He told Sherdog that he has nothing but respect for “Hendo” but that he intends to retain his belt when they meet this February.
“I think he’s a very experienced fighter and knows a lot in the ring. He is a complete athlete and very tough,” Cavalcante assessed. “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.”
What do you expect from a match up between “Feijao” and Henderson? Can Cavalcante’s skills match the experience and durability which Henderson possesses? Let us know what you think in the comments section.