In just a few short hours, the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP will be underway, and with it, a great card with some very exciting fights. One such bout on the card features lightweight competitors, Gesias Cavalcante facing off against Team Jackson member, Isaac Vallie-Flagg. After a 10 month layoff for Cavalcante, he finally has the opportunity to get back to activity again. I was able to get a quick, impromptu interview with "JZ" last night, shortly after weigh-ins, to get some final thoughts heading into fight night.
*Note: I only had about 8 or 9 minutes to conduct this interview, but I tried to cram in as much as I could. My apologies for it being so brief, but I caught him after weigh-ins, before dinner.
Stephie Daniels: Where do you feel your strengths lie in this fight?
Gesias Cavalcante: For sure the experience. This will be his first really big fight. He has a good record, 12-3, and hasn't lost a fight since 2007. If he wins, he has much more to gain from it. I think my experience will prevail here, though.
Stephie Daniels: Do you feel that this being his first cut down to 155 will be an advantage for you?
Gesias Cavalcante: Before, he used to fight at 170, and now he's coming down to 155. The first cut like that is not easy. I've fought heavier too, but I've been at lightweight longer, and the cuts are very easy for me now. I feel comfortable with them now. This was a good cut for me.
Stephie Daniels: How was your training camp?
Gesias Cavalcante: My camp was great. It's been so long since I've fought, but it's been a good thing for me. I was going through a couple things in my life, and it gave me time to grow and mature, and to improve my skills. My body, my mentality, and even spiritually, I'm in a much better place right now.
The Blackzilians camp is amazing. It's been great for me, and also for the other fighters there. They really support me. We support each other. There are three of us on this card, myself, Yuri Villefort and Guto Inocente. We've been helping each other, and the whole camp has been amazing.
Stephie Daniels: How was it having Braulio Estima at the Blackzilians camp to train with?
Gesias Cavalcante: It's a great experience. The guy is top level. He kicked my ass so bad on the ground [laughs]. He has so much experience and techniques to share. It was awesome to train with him.
Stephie Daniels: What did you think of World Jiu-Jitsu Expo fiasco from last weekend?
Gesias Cavalcante: That was very unprofessional. It was really bad, and the worst thing, after the event, people tried to make Braulio look bad. That's what pissed me off the most.
Stephie Daniels: With the future of Strikeforce being uncertain, have you heard any news what happens going forward from this event?
Gesias Cavalcante: Nope. No news. I hope they have more events. I don't know what they're going to do, or how they're going to do it. I just hope the time is shorter in between fights than it's been for me in the past.
Stephie Daniels: With a win against Isaac, would you feel that this would put you maybe one or two fights away from challenging for the title?
Gesias Cavalcante: Yes, but Ike is not a big name, you know. I definitely wouldn't say that if I beat him, I'm ready for a title shot. They have other guys there like KJ Noons and Pat Healy, in front of me. With my experience and the name I made for myself, it would be good to build up to it with fights with those guys first. I did tell them, if something were to happen to anybody, I'm ready to step in. I'm ready.
Stephie Daniels: What are your feelings about not being featured on the main card?
Gesias Cavalcante: Before, I used to think about where on the card I was going to be. Now, I just want to fight. It doesn't matter if it's on TV or not. It doesn't matter if it's a big name or not. I just want to fight. That's my job, and AI love doing it. Where it goes, or who it's with, it doesn't really matter.
Gesias Cavalcante: We'll have to see what kind of Josh is going to show up. I'm cheering for him, though. I love Gilbert, and he's such a nice guy and awesome fighter. I'm just cheering for Josh because it would be easier for me to get the rematch. That would make a great story, if he won and I could challenge for the title. I think I could get in line for the title faster if Josh wins.
Follow Gesias via his Twitter, @Gesias