It's amazing to me that for nine and a half years, Gesias Cavalcante has been an active mixed martial artist. At the tender age of 30, he is considered to be a veteran of the sport. One of the old guard.
The last couple years have presented a bumpy road for the young Brazilian, but he feels that through adversity, he gains strength. 'I believe God only gives the hardest things to the people that can handle them' is something he told me when I interviewed him last week.
JZ fights tonight, and he won't be facing some ham and egger chump. He'll be meeting a super tough opponent in Tyson Griffin, and my money is on this bout turning out to be a fight of the night type scrap. When I spoke to Cavalcante, he seemed to be at peace with all the ups and downs he's experienced both in and out of the cage.
One thing that stuck out to me most, was his assessment of his opponent. Instead of pointing out a specific weakness or strength, he feels that they have a lot in common, and is approaching the fight from that standpoint. He also spoke about the differences in Zuffa and WSOF. Here's what he had to say:
Most fighters always like to talk about the differences they have with the guy that they're fighting. Me and Tyson, we have so much in common. We've both been through ups and downs, he's well rounded, same as me. I cannot come out and say, 'I'm gonna be stronger on this or that.' I think I'm going to come out and fight hard and so is he.
My strongest point isn't some new trick. It's the knowledge I've gained from the things I've gone through that makes me feel stronger. I'm in a good place now. I've been searching for things inside myself, and finally, I think I've found them. Hopefully, it will show in my fight.
The way they treat me is way better than when I was with Strikeforce. It's been more personal and definitely more fair. They listen if we have something to complain about. They sit down and do their best to get it worked out. I have not had any problems with them.
I had something in my contract I wanted changed, and they came and we talked and worked it right out. When something like that happened with Zuffa when I was in Strikeforce, I had something I wanted to fix on my contract, and they just said ' It's going to be our way. If you don't like it, then leave it', and that was it.
For the fighters, I don't think that's the way a company should be. That's the kind of power they have right now. The fighters are all waiting for another big organization to come along. I'm hoping that World Series of Fighting can be that one we've been waiting for.
You can follow Gesias via his Twitter account, @Gesias