RIO DE JANEIRO -- A light heavyweight showdown between former Strikeforce champions Daniel Cormier and Rafael Cavalcante was briefly targeted to UFC 175, but the Brazilian didn’t get the fight he was hoping for.
Instead of Cormier, "Feijao" will be facing Ryan Bader in his return to the Octagon at UFC 174 in Vancouver, Canada, on June 14, and he wants to move to 2-1 in the UFC after a one-round beating over Igor Pokrajac.
"(Cormier is) the fight I wanted," Cavalcante told MMAFighting.com. "I want to make clear that I accepted the fight as soon as they offered it to me. Don’t get me wrong, Bader is a tough guy. My style matches well against (wrestlers). But I never picked fights and I won’t do it now. I’m well trained and I will get there at 200 percent."
"Feijao" won’t fight Cormier, so he’s not thinking about him for now. His next opponent, Bader is coming off a dominant victory over Anthony Perosh in December, and even rocked Glover Teixeira in his previous fight.
"It’s a small glove so one good punch and you can go down," he said. "There’s no such thing as a hard chin. When the hand comes and you don’t see it, you can go down.
"He’s a tough wrestler, a well-rounded fighter. I really like this fight. I like to fight the best, and he’s at the top 10 right now. I’m anxious to fight again. I changed a lot of things in my training since my last fight and the whole world will see how good I’ll be in my next fight. I’m looking forward to show this against Ryan Bader."
Cavalcante’s teammate Antonio Rogerio Nogueira suffered his first loss in the UFC against Bader in 2010, but the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion sees his takedown defense as the key to the victory at UFC 174.
"I talked to (Nogueira) about the fight," he said. "The takedowns killed him. I was confident he would win that fight but he couldn’t work on his striking because of the takedowns, but this is not going to happen with me.
"I’m a judoka and adapted my game with the wrestling, so it’s really hard to take me down. When I fight wrestlers they tend to get frustrated as I force them to stand with me, and I’m at an advantage."