Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante wants UFC's Ryan Bader for anticipated summer return
by Steven Marrocco on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm ET
Former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champ Rafael Cavalcante wants to be the next fighter from the defunct promotion's roster to move to the UFC.
"I have a lot of names in my mind that I want to test myself (against)," he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
But one is sticking out at the moment, so Cavalcante (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) might as well make UFC matchmaker Joe Silva's job easy: He'd like to fight Ryan Bader (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), preferably in May or June.
"I like the way he fights," said Cavalcante, who must wait out a yearlong suspension from the California State Athletic Commission before he's eligible to move forward with his career.
The 32-year-old Brazilian was unsuccessful in appealing a punishment handed down by the regulatory body after he failed a post-fight drug test in his most recent performance. Cavalcante knocked out Mike Kyle in 33 seconds at a Strikeforce event held this past May in San Jose, Calif., and he was flagged one month later when his test detected the steroid stanozolol.
The setback adjusted Cavalcante's Strikeforce record to 4-1. He won the title from Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in August 2010 and lost it seven months later to Dan Henderson.
Still regarded as one of the top light heavyweights outside the UFC, Cavalcante's stock would jump with a win over Bader, who this past Saturday submitted veteran Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on FOX 6.
Bader, who won "The Ultimate Fighter 8," climbed the UFC's 205-pound ranks after the show before eventually running into current champ Jon Jones. After Lyoto Machida knocked him out at UFC on FOX 4, Bader recorded the fastest submission in the promotion's light-heavyweight history with a 50-second tap-out of Matyushenko. He earned an extra $50,000 for "Submission of the Night" honors.
Cavalcante said he's already helped out in a camp for training partner Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who meets Rashad Evans on Saturday at UFC 156. He's also a regular partner of UFC middleweight Anderson Silva and welterweight prospect Erick Silva, who was forced to withdraw from UFC 156 with an injury.
So now, he's planning for a bout of his own, and he wants Bader.
"I think we're going to do an awesome fight," Cavalcante said. "I'll be ready for sure."