GOIANIA, Brazil -- Rafael Cavalcante made quick work of Igor Pokrajac at UFC Fight Night 32, and everything went exactly as he expected.
A former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, "Feijao," landed vicious knees from the clinch on Pokrajac on Saturday’s event. He perfected the move that finished the bout a few minutes before he entered the Octagon.
"I always had some good knees from the clinch, and Anderson (Silva) has taught me a lot for a long time," Cavalcante said after the fight. "Rodrigo (Nogueira) told me minutes before the fight that Pokrajac would try the clinch as soon as he felt the power of my hands, so I had to clinch him first, that’s what I did. I landed the knees and it was over."
"Feijao" shared his secrets, revealing that you can't target your opponent's face first.
"I always throw the knees to the body first, forcing him to defend himself and let his face open," he said. "I knew he was hurt as soon as I landed the first knee. This is what I do. I'm an aggressive fighter and my physical conditioning is getting better and better. I just have to thank my team for that."
More than two years after his last MMA win, which took place on September 2011 in Strikeforce, "Feijao" knew he had his back against the wall when he entered the cage in Goiania, and he used his pressure in his advantage.
"I needed this win so bad," he said. "After I got to the top at Strikeforce, I had no more goals in my career so I lost focus. I'm back, focused on what I need to focus, and I'm in the best shape of my life."
Cavalcante leaves his first-round knockout loss to Thiago Silva, in his UFC debut, in the past and says he’s open to fight whoever weighs 205 pounds and is currently signed with the promotion.
"I will fight anyone UFC puts in front of me."