He looked to right the ship against Pokrajac, who had dropped two out of his previous three mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts. Despite the snide, Pokrajac still retained the ability to put most Light Heavyweights to sleep in an instant.
With both fighters known for their explosive knockouts, this fight wasn't destined to last long.
Pokrajac came out strong, backing up "Feijao" with a right hand. He pushed Cavalcante up against the cage, landing some knees to his legs. Cavalcante quickly switched to the Thai clinch and began an absolutely brutal series of knees to the body and face of Pokrajac. "Feijao" followed up with a couple of big punches to earn the tapout at just over one minute into the first round.
It was a big statement win for Cavalcante, who would have been on very thin ice in UFC had he not pulled off the victory last night. It appeared that the main difference for "Feijao" was his conditioning. Against Silva, he was on the offense early and appeared to have the fight nearly won. Instead, he gassed, allowing Silva to weather the storm and come back to win the fight in the last round.
This time it was a completely different story.
"Feijao" came into the fight looking noticeably more in shape and it paid dividends. Despite Pokrajac controlling the early action against the fence, it quickly became obvious that Cavalcante had his foe right where he wanted him. His Muay Thai knees looked absolutely devastating.
But, with Cavalcante, his striking ability has never been his problem.
He's made some questionable decisions in the past by getting caught using performance-enhancing drugs, and his chin may be borderline against truly elite competition. Dan Henderson took his Strikeforce title with a well-placed right hand. If Cavalcante can couple his newfound conditioning with a sharp focus and striking defense, there's no doubt he can become a force to be reckoned with at 205 pounds.
For Pokrajac, it may be the end of the rope. Technically he's lost his last four UFC bouts (his decision loss to Joey Beltran at UFC on FX 6 was changed to a "No Contest" when "Mexicutioner" failed his post-fight drug test). That usually spells doom for any UFC fighter.
Perhaps it's time to go back to smaller shows and get a few confidence-building wins under his belt. He'll likely never find himself relevant in UFC again. That's unfortunate because he was on a three-fight win streak in the Octagon last May. That momentum didn't take long to subside.
"Feijao" got his first UFC win under his belt at last night UFC Fight Night 32. Is this the beginning of an impressive run for the brutish striker, or will he eventually wilt in the face of top opposition?