Monday Morning Hangover: Thiago Silva spoils Rafael Feijao's UFC debut


After an action-packed UFC on FUEL TV 10 event in Fortaleza, Brazil, plenty of fighters are still feeling the buzz, but Rafael Cavalcante is likely suffering from the worst post-fight hangover after getting knocked out in his Octagon debut by Thiago Silva.

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC on FUEL TV 10 blew the roof off Paulo Sarasate Arena last Saturday night (June 8, 2013) in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Many combatants were left licking their wounds after a wild night of fights that included plenty of submissions stoppages, including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who was forced to verbally tap by Fabricio Werdum in front of his hometown crowd (watch it here). And Jason High, who was welcomed back to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks rather rudely by Erick Silva and his slick submission game (read about it here).

But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now two days removed from the show?

Rafael Cavalcante.

The former Strikeforce champion looked to make a statement in his first fight under the UFC banner after serving a 12-month suspension for pissing hot in his last fight inside the Hexagon against Mike Kyle. And he looked to be on the right track in the first few minutes, storming out of the gate with bad intentions, throwing haymakers toward Thiago Silva and even landing a nice spinning back elbow that wowed the Brazilian crowd.

But, that's pretty much all "Feijao" was able to do because Silva, yet again, did what he always does, and walk right through his foes punches and delivered on his promise to push the pace, "show no mercy" and "destroy" his opponent.

Silva looked good technically, which is odd to say because the heavy-handed Brazilian usually throws caution to the wind and tosses technique out the window as he swings for the fences with bad intentions each and every punch. This time, however, Silva utilized an improved kicking game, battering Feijao's legs, allowing him to set up his strikes that ultimately gave him the win.

So what went wrong for "Feijao?"

His cardio.

While Silva was the one looking rather soft around the midsection, Cavalcante was the one sucking wind toward the end of the first round. And yes, Silva's punches did take plenty out of the former Strikeforce champ, however, it seemed Feijao just wasn't fit enough to go another two rounds.

Maybe not even one.

Maybe it was the layoff, perhaps it was Octagon jitters, but "Feijao" can largely blame his gas tank for his failure to make a splash against one of the toughest draws in the 205-pound division. With Feijao's hands hanging low and lungs gasping for air, Silva smelled the blood and proceeded to pounce on his fellow countrymen like a starving dog staring at a porterhouse steak, throwing one strike after another, with each finding its mark including a nice uppercut that spelled the end for Cavalcante (watch the knockout sequence here).

And as the mixed martial arts (MMA) world waits on pins and needles to see if Silva can get through a post-fight drug test, Feijao will be forced back to the drawing board, and perhaps a treadmill, in hopes of upping his cardio game.

So who should Feijao fight next?

James Te Huna.

The New Zealander is currently licking his own wounds after suffering a first round loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC 160. With both fighters tending to keep the fight on the feet, the battle between Te Huna and Feijao could prove to be an all out stand up war.

Sure, one will suffer his second straight loss, but the possibility of going home with another "Fight of the Night" bonus check could soften the blow.

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