("Just relax and don’t think about where my other hand is.")
Unless you’re doing an interview with a small regional Canadian television station, if your teammate is fighting you’re pretty much obligated to say he or she is going to win or you may find yourself being greenlit the next time you show up for practice.
It’s no surprise then that Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante is picking his Team Nogueira training partner, UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva to beat former UFC light heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort when the pair meet February 5 at UFC 126 in Las Vegas.
According to Feijao, who is ignoring the principle rule of training: what happens in the gym stays in the gym, says that he has never seen Belfort get an upper hand over Silva in rolling or sparring while the two trained together briefly at Black House.
“I’ve had the opportunity of training with both [Anderson and Vitor] and to see them training with each other," he told Tatame. I’ve never seen Vitor beating Anderson."
Despite the fact that many fans and analysts are picking Belfort to do what Chael Sonnen just fell short of doing earlier this year, which is stopping the dominant champ, Feijao says that Silva’s main advantage is his heart.
“I believe a lot on Anderson’s game, not because he trains with me, but because he’s a hard guy to fight against, and I taste a bit of it every single day. He’s a very versatile guy, changes his style a lot, has the capacity of playing any kind of game, he can play standing up or on the floor. He proved in his last fight he can handle being hit for 23 minutes and still win the fight. Heart is everything. In a fight, the guy has to have a heart, be a warrior and Anderson is way ahead [in that department]."
Cavalcante is making a brazen prediction that the fight will be fight of the year, which isn’t so much a bold statement because isn’t likely to be THAT good, but rather because there will be 10 more months of fights after the bout.
“It’ll be the fight of the year. On the two or three initial minutes, Vitor is dangerous for anyone," Cavalcante says. "Anderson is a complete athlete. I’m crazy to see how this fight will be like, it’ll be a great fight.