Life is full of bumps in the road and nobody understands that better than Strikeforce lightweight Gesias ‘JZ’ Cavalcante.
The one time K-1 and Dream competitor has had some of the most unusual circumstances around some of his fights over the last few years. Starting with his bout against Shinya Aoki in Dream that was ruled a no contest after JZ landed some illegal elbow strikes and his opponent was unable to continue.
Making his Strikeforce debut, Cavalcante seemingly sewed up a win over former lightweight champion Josh Thomson, but the judges went the other way and the Brazilian ended up with a loss on his record instead.
Then came last Saturday night when he faced American Kickboxing Academy fighter Justin Wilcox. A back and forth first round set the stage for what was a highly anticipated lightweight contender’s bout, but what resulted was an accidental eye poke from Cavalcante to Wilcox, and because of his impaired vision the fight was stopped and ruled a no decision.
“It’s disappointing you know? I’ve been through so much,” Cavalcante told MMAWeekly Radio on Thursday. “It’s okay, after the fight I get to my knees, I prayed, that’s the thing I do everyday. I was asking God to give me everything I need, and not just what I want. I say this prayer everyday, so after the fight that was the only thing in my mind. I was like okay let’s move on and keep it going.”
Regardless of the way the fight ended, the night didn’t start the way JZ had hoped either. Due to some longer bouts earlier in the night, Cavalcante and Wilcox were bumped up time wise so they could appear on the HDNet prelim show, so the former American Top Team fighter got little time to warm up properly in the back.
While the first round didn’t go to plan, Cavalcante was ready to come back stronger in the second.
“I feel I lost the round,” Cavalcante admitted about the first five minutes. “Either way we didn’t have an advantage in anything, but just the fact that he walks forward a little bit more, I give the round to him.
“The 2nd round the mentality was go forward, whatever happens, I’m comfortable.”
Unfortunately, Cavalcante barely got a chance to institute any of his strategy changes after his finger landed in Wilcox’s eye, effectively ending the fight.
“I threw a teep (kick) and a right hand and then I stepped out and give a step back and he walks forward, as he walks like he’s going to shoot or something, I just extended my arm a little bit just to avoid and he walked in on my finger,” Cavalcante explained.
With the string of bad luck that Cavalcante has endured lately, most fighters would be frustrated beyond words and mad at the world. That’s just not who JZ Cavalcante is though.
As positive as any fighter can be, Cavalcante is pushing forward and just looking forward to the next opportunity.
“I’m already looking forward,” said Cavalcante. “Looking for another fight soon on Strikeforce, I’m waiting just for the call, and see if Strikeforce says ‘you’re going to fight on the next card’ or get the rematch (with Justin Wilcox) if he’s able.”
While a rematch to finish the fight with Wilcox would be the perfect scenario, Cavalcante wants to compete on the upcoming Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson card against any fighter the promotion puts him in the cage with.
“I would like to get the rematch, but if I have to wait, no I want to fight right away, (against) anybody. I want to be on that card,” Cavalcante stated.
The Brazilian is already back in the gym helping his friend Thiago Tavares get ready for his upcoming fight, and he’ll be ready for whenever Strikeforce makes the call.