“JZ” Cavalcante “Dying to Fight,” Hoping for April 9th

Monday, March 7, 2011

By Kelsey Mowatt

After spending months on the sidelines over the last couple of years, due to a series of injuries, Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante has publicly expressed his desire on several occasions that he’s eager to fight, and fight often.  In fact, after losing by unanimous decision to Josh Thomson in Cavalcante’s Strikeforce debut last October; in a competitive bout the veteran fighter still believes he won, JZ’s will to fight may have never been stronger.

“I’m dying to fight you know?” the Strikeforce lightweight recently told FCF. “Since December they’ve been telling me I was going to fight on the next card, ‘you’re going to fight on the next show,’ ‘you’re going to fight next month,’ so I hope this time it comes true.”

Cavalcante’s wait may soon come to an end, however, as according to the 15-4-1 fighter, Strikeforce has contacted him about fighting next month.

“Right now they’re saying April 9th,” Cavalcante told FCF. “I don’t know though, they haven’t put anything on the website and they haven’t announced anything, but they told me April 9th. So I hope so.”

Of course, despite the fact Cavalcante has just one win in his last five bouts, the two-time K-1 Hero’s Tournament Champion likely remains one of Strikeforce’s more talented lightweights. JZ’s additional losses during that stretch have come against notable opposition in Tatsuya Kawajiri and Dream champ Shinya Aoki, and regardless of whether or not one agreed with the scoring that saw him lose to the aforementioned Thomson, there’s no denying that Cavalcante pushed the former champ throughout the bout. In other words, finding Cavalcante an opponent to fight, may be more difficult than one thinks.

“They haven’t said anything about the opponent,” said Cavalcante. “I don’t know; they have a couple guys out there. Josh Thomson; I’d like to do a rematch, like I’ve said a couple times already. They have Pat Healy who fought recently; I don’t know if he’s able to fight again, or KJ Noons, you know? Justin Wilcox, I don’t know, I just hope they come out with a name soon so I can get ready for the match. I want to put on a good show.”

There have been reports recently that Aoki will be returning to the Strikeforce cage soon. As news continues to come out of Japan stating that some of the nation’s leading promotions are in dire straits, more and more accomplished Japanese fighters are heading to North America to compete. Case in point is the aforementioned Kawajiri, who will challenge Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez on April 9th.

“I would love to fight him again,” said Cavalcante about the rumors surrounding Aoki, who JZ fought to a no contest and a unanimous decision loss at Dream 1 and 9 respectively. “If he’s coming back why not? Let’s do the rematch man. Let’s do it.”

While Cavalcante fought exclusively in Japan from 2006 through 2009, and other Strikeforce competitors like Thomson have gone abroad recently to compete, the Brazilian fighter has no plans to head back anytime soon. Cavalcante reports that he still has not been paid by Dream for his July, 2010 split decision win over Katsunori Kikuno, further demonstrating that all is not well with the promotion.

“No I still haven’t been paid,” Cavalcante said. “Nothing; they don’t call back, they don’t say nothing, it’s so frustrating. It’s a bit sad for the sport... I love the Japanese fans, I love the Japanese people, but it’s sad. The fight business there isn’t doing good.”

In the mean time, Cavalcante will keep his fingers crossed and hope to return to the Strikeforce cage on April 9th, to begin working his way into title contention.

“It’s difficult to predict how much I’ll fight this year, but I think it’s my time to put on a show,” Cavalcante noted. “It’s in my hands. I’m motivated; I’m healthy, and I think people will start to see my personality, my style in my fights, so I just need to go in there and be impressive, not just for the fans but for Strikefore as well.”