Rafael Cavalcante believes everything is lining up to win at UFC 174

Alexandre Loureiro, UFC

Ryan Bader is the betting favorite over Rafael Cavalcante at UFC 174, but the Brazilian doesn’t care.

Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion "Feijao" enters the Octagon on Saturday night in Vancouver, Canada, against Bader, The Ultimate Fighter season 8 winner, following a 78-second TKO victory over Igor Pokrajac in Brazil, and he’s not bothered by the underdog status.

"When the Octagon door closes, it will be only the two of us inside," Cavalcante told MMAFighting.com.

Cavalcante hasn’t fought in seven months, but he never stopped training. In fact, the X-Gym talent liked this training camp better than the previous one for Pokrajac.

"My preparation was a lot easier than for my last fights," he said. "I was active the whole time since my last fight, so I was already in a great shape when I started this camp. I’m going to show that I’m way better this time."

Bader battered Anthony Perosh in his last UFC appearance in December, returning to the win column after a first-round loss to Glover Teixeira. "Feijao", who bounced between wins and losses (and a no-contest) since winning the Strikeforce title in 2010, sees Bader as the perfect match-up to finally win two straight.

"Everybody knows how I fight, but I think he’s going to try to stand and bang with me before going for takedowns," he said. "If he tries to take me down, I will stop his takedowns. But even if he eventually takes me down, no problem at all: I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu, and I’m ready to finish the fight no matter how."

Bader is currently ranked at No. 9 in the UFC light heavyweight division, so a win over him could mean a top 10 status for "Feijao". The former Strikeforce titleholder wants another belt, but that’s not in his head right now.

"I want to beat him, and then I’ll set new goals," he said. "I’m not thinking about it now."

"Bader has a good stand-up game and good ground game, a good top control. He’s pretty much well-rounded, a top 10. There are no easy fights in the top 10 of this division," he continued. "He’s a really tough opponent, but so am I. I know how much I trained to be here and what I’ve been through. I believe that 80 percent of the game is about the mental aspect, and my head is really well for this fight."

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