By Chris Howie
June 24th, 2009
In early 2008, Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, or as he is known in Japan, JZ Calvan, was hovering around the top of the world light weight rankings. Unfortunately for the 26 year old Brazilian, injuries would plague him through the rest of 2008 and into 2009, keeping him on the shelf and causing him to drop off the light weight ranks all together.
After making his return to the ring in May at DREAM 9, and although on the losing end of a decision to Tatsuya Kawajiri, Cavalcante feels his injuries are near back to 100%.
“I’m feeling good” he tells MMANews.com “It took a year to recover from my injuries but nothing bothers me and I’m cool now thanks to god. The time off really helped me because I was able to take care of my injuries but right now I am looking to get back on top.”
Cavalcante was under the impression his next fight would be in September at DREAM 11 against the newly crowned Bellator FC Lightweight Champ Eddie Alvarez, but things appear to have changed. “I’m not sure. Alvarez may not be able to fight but I think it would be an awesome fight. I’m a fighter but I’m also a fan and I like to watch and I think it would be an awesome fight. Right now I guess I’ll have to wait. I’m waiting to hear from DREAM to see what’s up. They asked me to fight Eddie and I thought it was confirmed but now I’m hearing things from his manager that he is not going to fight.”
If the fight with Alvarez does fall through, Cavalcante has a good idea of whom he’d like instead. “No one in particular but there are a lot of good guys in Japan. I want good matches. I would like to fight Joachim Hansen again or Shinya Aoki. I know Aoki won’t be able to but I think Hansen is available and that is a fight I want.”
Hansen and Aoki are the only other blemishes on his 14-3-1 record but for JZ, revenge isn’t something he worries about. “I don’t think much about revenge. I don’t focus on it. A fight is a fight and every fight is different. We’re different fighters now (speaking on Hansen). I want to fight him because he is good and he is DREAM champion. If he wasn’t good and he was losing I wouldn’t have any interest in fighting him.”
Cavalcante isn’t a stranger to training for top level fights, his home gym; American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL has some of the top fighters in the world today. “We have such a great bunch of guys. We always have big fights in this gym. Thiago (Alves) is fighting GSP; Jorge (Santiago) is fighting Vitor Belfort in Affliction, Mike Brown just had a big fight. Every day I come to the gym I have great guys to train with no matter what time of day I show up. You look around and you see Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva, Antonio Silva, Mike Brown, Jorge Santiago, Wilson Gouveia, and that is just to name a few. There is a lot of experience in this gym and I can’t wait to see the youngest guys coming up. In a couple of more years those guys are going to be the future.”
The close knit group that trains at ATT is like a second family for the lightweight. When they aren’t in the gym, Cavalcante says they are hanging out together. Each of the fighters has the same goals and when you put a group together like that only special things can happen.