Previously ranked in the top five of the lightweight division, Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante has been on the comeback trail over the last year. While his last fight didn’t end the way he hoped, he’s gunning for a rematch or another big fight to kick off 2011.
A controversial decision landed in JZ’s lap when his last fight ended with Josh Thomson in Strikeforce. The Brazilian felt he won the fight, and a great many fans agreed with him when the scores were read that night.
While he was hoping to fight again before the close of 2010, according to Cavalcante’s manager Alex Davis, the American Top Team fighter will be back in Strikeforce during the first two months of next year.
“I’ve heard from Strikeforce that he’ll probably be fighting in January or February,” Davis told MMAWeekly.com. “They didn’t have enough space on the December card.”
Following several bouts with injuries that put Cavalcante on the sidelines, he is now healthy and looking to regain the status that saw him just a fight or two away from being considered the best lightweight in the sport. Davis says it’s been a long road back, but now JZ is hitting his stride again and Thomson got a taste of that in their fight earlier this month.
“JZ had been awhile without fighting. He took the fight in Japan in which he did well, he fought real safe, and then it took a little while for him to catch speed in that fight. The third round (against Thomson) that was really JZ. I think if we see another fight against Josh Thomson, that’s the fight we will end up seeing,” Davis explained.
Ideally, Cavalcante would love another shot to settle the score with Thomson for his next fight, but realistically both he and his camp know that he’ll probably end up fighting somebody else. The end goal is still to fight for the Strikeforce lightweight title, so whatever path gets him there, that’s where JZ will go.
“JZ wants a rematch,” said Davis. “I don’t think AKA or Josh Thomson would want to give him an immediate rematch cause they want (Gilbert) Melendez, so JZ is just going to have to go and beat somebody else up and get another chance at him. It will happen, he’ll get it.”
One place fans won’t see JZ this year is back in Dream, closing out the year on their New Year’s Eve card in December. According to Davis, the promotion has still not paid the Brazilian lightweight for his last fight there, and with the tension growing, he’s not expected to go back any time soon.
“JZ’s not going to accept a fight with Dream unless he gets paid for the last one,” Davis commented. “It’s common sense, he’s not going to go take a second fight with Dream unless he gets paid for the first one. Nobody would.”
So for now, Cavalcante will continue to train alongside his teammates at American Top Team until he gets the call from Strikeforce to come back in 2011.