Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Rafael Cavalcante made a successful return to action on May 19, 2012, knocking out Mike Kyle 33 seconds into the fight at Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier." After earning what seemed to be his second consecutive win, Cavalcante was all but guaranteed a shot at reclaiming his 205-pound title later this year.
His victory was short-lived, however, as "Feijao" was suspended for a year and fined $2,500 by the California’s State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for testing positive for stanozolol. The bout against Kyle was subsequently changed to a 'no contest.'
Facing a full 12 months without fighting, Team Blackhouse is prepared to appeal the judgment against Rafael, which was originally reported by MMA Fighting, claiming that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt (BJJ) is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Appearing on the most recent edition of "The MMA Hour," Ed Soares, Cavalcante's manager, stopped by to talk about the situation surrounding his client, saying that they already have a legal team in place to file an appeal.
Check it out:
"Today they are going to be opening, supposedly, the second jar or whatever. Like I said, I am very green to this area, I've never had any of our athletes test positive and this is a new routine for me. So this is a new situation for me and I am kind of taking it day by day, but yes we are appealing. He told me that he didn't (take anything illegal), I believe Feijao and he has no reason to lie to me, so I believe his innocence, yes. They mentioned it to me (what he tested positive for) in the letter, I am just so ignorant when it comes to steroids, ped's and all that stuff. I really don't know what it is. I just put it in our attorneys hands. Out attorney went out and searched out an attorney that is very familiar with these types of cases and that's where we are going forward with that."
The positive test derailed the possible 205-pound title shot that "Feijao" was hoping to receive, a title he lost to Dan Henderson at Strikeforce: "Feijao vs. Henderson" on March 5, 2011.
It hasn't been a good calendar year for Strikeforce organization, being that three of its top stars and former champions have tested positive for banned substance, including Muhammed Lawal and Cristian Justino, whom, you may better known as "Cyborg" Santos, the former Strikeforce women's Featherweight champion.
Nonetheless, Soares is confident that Cavalcante isn't a dirty fighter, which, of course, only time and an airtight alibi will prove if he can manage to have the CSAC's ruling overturned.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for further developments.