Under the K-1 Hero's banner, Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante ran through some of the best competition in Japan with only one of his seven opponents even making it out of the first round. JZ was considered among the very best lightweights in the world. His run in DREAM though has left him with two losses, a no contest and he has been plagued with knee injuries. Now for the first time he claims to be back and injury free and at DREAM.15 will be facing one of the best young talents in Japan, Katsunori Kikuno.
His injuries have left JZ noticeably lacking in his past two fights. The fighter we have seen so far in DREAM is not the same fighter that has scored five victories in under a minute. That DREAM fighter isn't living in the past though.
"I don't want to talk about it, that's in the past. I'm going to look forward to my fight, I'm healthy now so I don't want to keep looking backwards. I'm looking forward. Sorry."
His opponent for his return after 14 months off is Katsunori Kikuno. One of the very best talents that Japan has produced in recent years. His traditional karate hour-glass stance and his most powerful weapon the "moon kick" are highly both highly unorthodox and highly effective in the MMA ring. JZ feels no threat there.
"I'm feeling good you know, it's a good match, a good fight. I'm coming back from two losses and it's been a while, like I said, one year and two months off. So he is on the spot. He is the new Japanese sensation. By talking about him all the Japanese, all the fans are expecting a lot from him, even the event. I'm good, I'm here. Doing what I love."
"He is an unorthodox fighter, you know. I guess I'll adapt my game to work on that. His sword is my sword. Like the world famous samurai said once, I'm going to use his strength against him."
"It's not a difficult fight against him. I have to be really smart to prepare against him, you know. Luckily I have good coach, good personal trainers, guys that can adapt their game and help me out."
When questioned as to whether he sees anything mysterious about the mesmerizing karateka, JZ's reply was simple.
JZ's two losses within DREAM have come to the champion and challenger for DREAM.15's main event so his insight into that fight is highly relevant.
"I think Kawajiri is going to win. Just the match-up, it's going to work for Kawajiri. Actually I'm not too focused on this fight, I'm going to focus on my fight so that's why I'm not talking too much. If you want me to talk about all the details it's going to be too long and I need to keep my head for my fight."
Although he doesn't know how many fights he will have with Strikeforce, JZ is signed to head back to America to fight regardless of the result in Japan on Saturday night but he claims not to be finished in Japan.
"I love fighting in Japan, DREAM is a nice place. I think it has a nice name, everyone has a dream. So, it's still a dream for me to be a No. 1 in my weight class. That's what all fighters look for. I can fight both, and I can have good competition in both."