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Tag: Rafael Cavalcante

“Strikeforce: Barnett vs Cormier” Aftermath: Tournament Alternate Cormier Takes the HWGP

Mauro haters, hit mute now. Actually, everyone hit mute and read what I say about the fights below. (Video: YouTube/ShoSports)

Bruised and battered. Cut and bloodied. Josh Barnett’s face wasn’t one of a man who got out-wrestled last night. Olympic-level or not, wrestling doesn’t leave you looking like you put your head through a meat grinder. Don’t get me wrong, he did get out-wrestled last night, he just got out-struck as well. He got out-everythinged, if you want to get technical.

It didn’t have to be that way, of course. A lot of men would have wilted earlier–much earlier–in the onslaught of Daniel Cormier’s attack. But Barnett never thought of taking the easy way out, and today his face testifies to the evolving game of Cormier. The AKA product showed great versatility in his striking, staggering Barnett with heavy hands, head kicks, and knees. His combinations come fast, hard, and often, which explains why his hand surgeon is on retainer (yeah, he broke his hand again last night). When he did grab hold of “The War Master”, his grappling pedigree shone as well. He sent Barnett stumbling across the cage from the clinch and dolled out single-leg frequent flier miles, at one point flipping the former UFC champion in the air before slamming him to the mat.

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Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier — Live Results & Commentary


(The time for talking is over. The time for looking into a camera and screaming has just begun. Photo via Esther Lin/SHO Sports.)

If you had told me 16 months ago that the Strikeforce 2011-2012 Heavyweight Grand Prix would conclude with an unheralded reserve-fighter ending up in the finals, and tournament favorite Alistair Overeem nowhere to be seen due to promotional poaching and a subsequent drug-test scandal, I would have said “Yeah, that sounds about right, actually.”

The good news is, Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier is a hell of a matchup — a classic generational battle between a battle-tested old veteran and a hungry up-and-comer. (As it turns out, Barnett is only like a year-and-a-half older than Cormier, but work with me here.) Also on the main card: Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson fight for Strikeforce’s lightweight title for the third time, while light-heavyweights Mike Kyle and Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante throw down in a rematch of their own.

Handling the play-by-play for the tonight’s Showtime broadcast of Strikforce: Barnett vs. Cormier is our own Elias Cepeda, who will be posting live results after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and let us know how you feel in the comments section. You ready for war? Because guys, we are always ready for war.

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Tidbit of the Day: ‘King Mo’ Was in Talks to Rematch ‘Feijao’ for Vacant SF LHW Strap Prior to Steroid Suspension


(“Don’t look yet, but tell me if she’s looking at me.”)

It looks like Muhammed Lawal’s positive  steroid test  may have netted him a much bigger punishment than the fine and one-year timeout levied on him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission; he may also have missed out on a chance at redemption against the only fighter to beat him as well as a chance to regain the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.

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Savage Knockout of the Day: Jordan Mein def. Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos Via Hellstorm of Standing Elbows


(Props: Zee2tehPee)

If Strikeforce gave out performance bonuses like their big brothers at the UFC, the “Barnett vs. Kharitonov“ prelim match between Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos and rising Canadian star Jordan Mein would be a front-runner for Fight of the Night. After two entertaining rounds of stand-up, Mein ended the match in the third frame with the nastiest display of standing elbows in MMA history. Seriously, that’s not an exaggeration. Skip to about the 1:45 mark and tell me I’m wrong — this might even give Anderson Silva vs. Tony Fryklund a run for its money. To see the first two rounds of the fight (and everything else from the prelims), swing by IronForgesIron.

Mein’s victory upped his career record to 23-7, and lengthened a win streak that includes victories over Joe Riggs, Josh Burkman, and Marius Zaromskis. He’s been fighting professionally since 2006, and he’s 21 years old. You do the math on that one.

After the jump: Another highly satisfying knockout from the Strikeforce prelims, this one involving former light-heavyweight champ Rafael Cavalcante and Olympic freestyle wrestling silver medalist (and Strikeforce first-timer) Yoel Romero. We set up the video to skip past the first ten minutes of Romero avoiding the fight and taunting Feijao at every opportunity; trust us, we’re doing you a favor. When Cavalcante finally catches up with his dick-headed opponent, it is so, so good.

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‘Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson’ Aftermath — Master Hendo, the Curse Is On Thee

Strikeforce Dan Henderson Rafael Feijao Cavalcante
(“Dudes, *tell* me you just saw that!” Props: Esther Lin/Strikeforce)

Add the Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Championship to the list of MMA’s Great Curses. When Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante fell victim to Dan Henderson‘s mythical “H-Bomb” right hand last night in Columbus, he became the fourth-consecutive Strikeforce LHW champ to lose the belt without making a single successful defense. (Quick refresher: Babalu Sobral lost it to Gegard Mousasi, who lost it to King Mo, who lost it to Feijao, who lost it Hendo.)

Time will tell if Dan Henderson suffers the same fate. In the meantime, the decorated vet’s arrival as champion helps bolster the 205′ers as a marquee division in Strikeforce. Besides Dan and all the former champions previously mentioned, SF’s light-heavyweight roster now includes guys like Roger Gracie, Mike Kyle, Rhadi Ferguson — tell Fedor Emelianenko to drop 20 pounds, and you’ve got the makings of another great World Grand Prix, especially if their heavyweight tournament continues to run into delays.

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Dan Henderson: The CagePotato Retrospective Interview

Dan Henderson Wanderlei Silva PRIDE
(Knocking out Wanderlei Silva at PRIDE 33 was “definitely a much bigger accomplishment than anything else I’ve done.” / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

With 14 years of battles under his belt, Dan Henderson has bridged the gap between the old-school and the new-school. He started competing in 1997 — long before “Zuffa” and “the Unified Rules” entered the MMA lexicon — and his first four appearances were in single-night tournaments, where he was often pitted against seasoned fighters with years of experience. (Luckily, Henderson had his Olympic-caliber wrestling background to fall back on, and went 9-0 in those tournaments.)

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Henderson evolved with the sport, and has managed to remain one of the world’s top fighters. Coming off a first-round knockout of Renato Sobral in December, Henderson returns to the cage this Saturday in the main event of Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson, where he’ll be challenging Rafael Cavalcante for the promotion’s light-heavyweight belt. We caught up with Dan to get some war stories about his long career and his thoughts on what lies ahead…

Becoming ‘Hendo’: The Brazil Open ’97 (6/15/97)
def. Crezio de Souza via TKO, 5:25
def. Eric Smith via technical submission (guillotine choke), 0:30

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Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu Conference Call Notes

Strikeforce held a conference call on Tuesday ahead of its next major event December 4 in St. Louis. Besides CEO Scott Coker, also on the call were the card’s two main event fighters, former Pride welterweight and middleweight champion Dan Henderson and former Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Renato "Babalu" Sobral.

Coker has intimated that the winner of the bout will likely be next in line for a shot at current Strikeforce 205-pound champ Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, so the implications are much bigger than just a rematch that fans want to see.

The pair first squared off in 1999 under the Rings banner where Henderson took the split decision. Although Sobral says he isn’t approaching the fight as being his shot at avenging the debatable decision, but it’s clear that he still has a bitter taste in his mouth from the loss.

The highlights of the call are after the jump.

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Surprise! Anderson Silva’s Friend and Training Partner Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante is Picking ‘The Spider’ to Beat ‘The Phenom’


("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."

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Babalu Not Motivated by Belts Anymore; Plans to Move to Different Weight Classes to Pursue Challenging Fights


(Belts? We don’t need no stinking belts.)

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker mentioned in an interview this week that the winner of the December 4 light heavyweight bout between Dan Henderson and Renato Sobral will likely be next in line for a shot at the promotion’s 205-pound titleholder, Rafael Cavalcante.

Coker’s revelation seems a bit questionable considering Sobral, who defeated Robbie Lawler at a 195-pound catchweight in his last bout hasn’t fought at 205 for the promotion since losing his title to Gegard Mousasi in 2009 and Henderson, who lost to Jake Shields in a title bout in his Strikeforce debut hasn’t fought under the SF banner at that weight at all.

Regardless of whether or not he beats Henderson or earns a shot at his old belt, Babalu says he may not stick around at light heavyweight for long, revealing that he wants to go wherever there are challenging fights.

"I’m looking for challenges now. Belts don’t mean as much to me any more. I want good match-ups. That’s what keeps me motivated to fight. I’d like to fight maybe at heavyweight. It depends. It all depends on the opponents. If you give me good match-ups, I’ll fight at any weight," Babalu tells CagePotato.com. "I can go up and I can go down. If it’s a good bout for me and I say I want to fight that guy, I’ll move to the weight they’re at. I don’t have any preference. It’s not about weight classes; it’s about fighters."

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club


(Joey Beltran predicts a slugfest against Matt Mitrione during the UFC 119 Spike TV Prelims, and explains the origin of his "Mexecutioner" nickname. Props: FightMagazine)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail feedback@cagepotato.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

– CSAC’s George Dodd Explains Why Chael Sonnen Was Allowed to Compete at UFC 117 (MMA Fighting)

– Chael Sonnen Plans To Appeal Drug Test + Jim Rome’s Take On Sonnen (MMA Convert)

– UFC 119: Frank Mir’s Last Run At Heavyweight Title? (Heavy.com/MMA)

– Dunham, Sherk Headed in Different Directions Leading Up to UFC 119 (Versus MMA Beat)

– This Is What Google Says About Your Favorite Fighter (MiddleEasy)

– Snowman’s Land: Jeff Monson Discusses Next Fight in Israel, Drop to Light-Heavyweight (LowKick)

– The Best Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante Highlight Reel Ever (MMA Scraps)

- Understanding Why Chael Sonnen Failed His UFC 117 Drug Test; a Procedural Look (Watch Kalib Run)

– Bas Rutten Comments on Steroid Use in Mixed Martial Arts (Five Ounces of Pain)

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