JZ Cavalcante is a man on a mission
After an extremely frustrating year long stint that included not being paid to fight, a controversial decision loss, being forced to sit on the sidelines while healthy for eight months and then a very inconclusive no contest in his return bout to the promotion, the Imperial Athletics fighter is ready to take out all his anger on his opponent this Saturday night (July 30, 2011).
To blow off some steam, Cavalcante filmed one of the funniest MMA videos in recent memory for College Humor alongside Kenny Florian.
The former top five ranked lightweight in the world is healthy, happy and ready to go out there and take care of business against late injury replacement Bobby Green in the Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" undercard main event.
"JZ" spoke with MMAmania.com about his recent stint in comedy, fighting often and how he's changed things up in training in preparation for his upcoming fight.
He goes straight for the family jewels after the jump.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Ok, first question for you JZ is, do you wish this upcoming fight with Bobby Green were under the rules of the ABB (All Balls Brawl)?
Gesias Cavalcante: (laughs) Oh, no, no, no. I think that would hurt man.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How has the reaction been from everybody so far?
Gesias Cavalcante: I've had a million success. I didn't know until they posted the video on the website and after that my twitter is going crazy. People are tweeting about it all the time about how they love it. I feel today like a little kid. I went to the gym and and people are like, "hey, I saw your video!" It's been so fun, the reaction, even the little kids, 12 or 13 years old have talked me about it. It's been a really good experience.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How did that all take place? What was the set up to get you all the way out to New York to film that?
Gesias Cavalcante: My manager, Glenn Robinson, he had a part in it. Those guys from Authentic Sports Management linked up and booked it for us, me and Kenny Florian is also under Authentic Sports Management. They took us down to New York and they get us the spot and it was great. It came up naturally. I think just because the interviews that I do in Japan and all those things, I kind of been in the sport for a while now, eight years and we just relaxed in front of the camera and talk. I just start to pick up things and it was easy for me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Ok, on a more serious note, you've got a big fight coming up against Bobby Green and it was actually a really quick turnaround. How important was it for you to get a fight immediately after the last one with Wilcox?
Gesias Cavalcante: For me, it was really important. Going back, I had a lot of problems before my last fight, not the Wilcox but in the time before that it was like eight months. I was supposed to fight every month and the fight never happened. The frustrations were so bad because I came to fight and then had the no contest so I just need to keep busy and I wanted to put all the work I had in the gym, put everything there. This fight was important for me to keep the training, keep the attitude, the positive attitude, keep it going. I'm healthy, my body is good. That's all I need. Keep busy and get my timing back on the fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): After your last fight with Wilcox, you were begging to get a fight as soon as possible. How happy were you when you found out you were going to be on this event?
Gesias Cavalcante: I was really, really happy. Really happy man. I was really, really happy. Like I said, it was a bit of frustration for the last fight, the no contest, after all the hard work, to come and no contest there. It was an accident of course but I was scared to sit and wait for too long. I would have liked to get a fight with Justin [Wilcox] next but it was taking too long for him to recover so I couldn't fight him. I said, "gimme anybody," I just needed a fight. I can break through those things and the whole time Authentic Sports Management worked a lot, worked hard to get me the fight. I was supposed to fight Lyle Beerbohm and they changed it out so now it's Bob Green. All those things, they are crazy, but thank God I have good people eyeing me and I have good support, the people work with me and my coaches.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You touched on Lyle Beerbohm dropping out. Does this last minute opponent change with Bobby Green stepping in, does that matter to you at all or did you just want to take the fight no matter what?
Gesias Cavalcante: No man. I just want to fight. That was the most important thing for me and I'm just glad to have the fight. That's it. I'm confident that I have the skills. My body's healthy, my mental health and my spirit is good. Everything is in balance so I just need to go there and go to work. I just need to adapt some things and go there and perform. That's one thing that's good, when I have a good team, when you're confident in your team, your confidence in yourself soars. I know the work I put in the gym is the best.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What do you know about Bobby Green? I know he's the King of the Cage lightweight champion. What are you expecting from him?
Gesias Cavalcante: He's a hungry guy. He's a good fighter, he's explosive. He comes with a fast pace. I watched a couple of his fights and I've seen him fighting before. It's good. He's a guy that wants to prove something, stepping up. King of the Cage is ok but Strikeforce has more exposure and he's just trying to prove himself. That's what makes the fight exciting.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How important is it for you to get a win on Saturday night because you've really had quite a few frustrations lately.
Gesias Cavalcante: Yeah but I'm not concerned about just the win. The wins are gonna come. I'm concerned about what I'm doing now. I'm concerned about my focus, my attention, my needs for the present. I'm doing everything right because things are gonna come. If you put in too much focus too far ahead, you lose the time in between there. You have to enjoy until you get there so I'm working towards this, I'm working towards the winning. It adds no pressure and I know God's gonna give me everything I need. It makes life easier.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I saw you were training with Kamal Shalorus a little bit. What was that like? Is that somebody you've worked with before or was that new?
Gesias Cavalcante: It was new. I met him a couple of times. I always respect how he fights. I always say, "that's a true warrioer. That's a true fighter." He has heart. He has the mentality, he works hard and I had the chance to meet him a couple times. He's a high level wrestler and it's more work. All the guys he knows are close friends of mine. I know it's gonna be a pleasure for me. I've got a lot of little tweaks just from him. He's been a great shadow. We do everything together, training, relaxing on the beach, it's been awesome. He came out to Imperial to train with me alongside my coaches who I work with. I wouldn't go anywhere else and I was thankful that he came down to help me out.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Rashad Evans is down there at Imperial Athletics as well. How's he looking? I know he's got a really big fight coming up.
Gesias Cavalcante: Tito thinks he's got this fight, but unfortunately he's gonna pay. Rashad is good man. He's looking real good.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): With the issues you'd had in the past with If it was up to you, how often would you like to fight?
Gesias Cavalcante: It depends. Now, I'm healthy, I'm hungry, and I want to fight and get even better so I wish to fight every three months. That's a good time for me, consistently fighting every three months, that's good. If I have four fights a year, five fights, that's good. Now, I know I'm not gonna do this for four years, pushing the fights every three months the whole time, it would be too much on the body. But right now, I'm getting the level, I'm comfortable again with everything, the diet, the training and I don't need to stop long to take a break and let the body recover.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Did you learn anything from the last experience against Justin Wilcox that might help you for this fight?
Gesias Cavalcante: Not learning from that fight but I had a fight that was finished already and just the timing there. I cannot wait. I cannot lose the first round like I lost the first round from him just waiting. I've got to go to him and put everything there.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): My last question for you is, how do you feel the fight with Bobby Green is going to end on Saturday.
Gesias Cavalcante: I hate predictions, but I'll tell you something. I'm so hungry, and I know he's hungry too which is what's gonna make the fight exciting but with everything I've been through, I'm gonna throw everything there. I don't care. I've gone through everything.
Gesias Cavalcante would like to thank Imperial Athletics, the Blackzilians, Authentic Sports Management, his teammates and coaches Mike Van Arsdale, Mohamed Ouali, Jorge Santiago, Kamal Shalorus and the Villafort brothers. Follow his facebook page and his twitter and check out his website JZMMA.com
So what do you think Maniacs?
Will Cavalcante get back on track this Saturday night? Or will his fight with Bobby Green simply be another tally in his long list of frustrations and setbacks?