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Overview (3)

Born in Ilha Solteira, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Nicknames Feijao
Rafael Feijao
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Rafael Cavalcante's path to Mixed Marital Arts was enabled by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira whose search for a training partner lead to the widely endorsed Cavalcante. When he was 10 years old, Cavalcante started Jiu Jitsu training in his country of origin, Brazil, and throughout his five years as veterinary student. Noguiera convinced Cavalcante's father to let him switch to a career in combat sports from veterinary medicine in Rio De Janiero. With Noguiera's training and financial support, Cavalcante trained regularly in Noguiera's gym with his brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira,Anderson Silva, and Andre Galvao. He later adopted the nickname "Feijao"-which means beans in his native Portuguese language. Feijao won his first bout in 2006, initially as a heavyweight, dispatching Eduardo Maiorino within five minutes by TKO at Pantanal Combat. Feijao next fought Miodrag Petkovic in Russia at World Free Fighting Challenge's "Europe vs. Brazil," winning by technical knockout in the second round. In his third fight that year, Feijao submitted Rubens Xavier by strikes in two and a half minutes at Minotauro Fights 5. In 2007, Feijao took a major step towards prominence by competing in the team-oriented IFL: International Fight League (2006). That February he fought and defeated Devin Cole by an early round 2 TKO at the IFL event in Atlanta. Marcio Cruz defeated Feijao by disqualification while fighting on another IFL card, this time in Las Vegas. In the third round, Feijao delivered illegal kicks to Cruz which resulted in his first loss. After this bout, Feijao next moved down in weight to competed as a permanent light-heavyweight at Elite XC: Street Certified (2008).He fought John Doyle and won by technical knockout in over two minutes.From the International Fight League, Feijao moved on to EliteXC, where he fought Wayne Cole at Elite XC: The Return of the King (2008). Feijao kicked inside of Cole's right leg, and Cole responded with punches to the face which was stopped by a clinch. Using under-hooks, Feijao pulled Cole to the ground. Cole, an accomplished Divsion II wrestler from Central Oklahoma, quickly scrambled to his feet. Feijao kept Cole against the cage to land knee strikes to the left and with punches. A Feijao knee connected to Cole's groin causing the referee to cease the action. When the fight resumed, Feijao opened up with kicks and knee strikes to Cole's which lead to a clinch and takedown attempt. Feijao held Cold against the cage for a few seconds before releasing his hold and landing punches to the face followed by knees in the clinch. Cole held Feijao's left leg to attempt another takedown but Feijao held his balance and landed more punches and knees to the head. Cole fell to his knees and Feijao attacked from his back with punches strikes until the referee stopped the fight by technical knockout. Travis Galbraith had seven days to prepare when he agreed to fight Feijao on EliteXC's "Unfinished Business" (EliteXC Saturday Night Fights: Episode #1.2 (2008)) card. At the opening, Feijao landed a left inside kick then clinched, which Galbraith reversed against the cage. Galbraith landed knees to Feijao's leg and a few to his face. Feijao escaped and Galbraith closed the distance before another clinch and both fighters exchanged knee strikes. Galbraith attempted a single-leg takedown then pushed Feijao against the cage. It only lasted a few seconds as Feijao hip tossed Galbraith to the mat. Galbraith quickly got up and tried another single-leg takedown before again landing a few strikes on Feijao in the clinch against the cage. Feijao pushed Galbraith away and landed standing and jumping knee strikes to his opponent's face followed by punches. Feijao clinched with Galbraith and hit him with more knees which caused him fall on his back. Feijao followed up with ground and pound for the TKO win.

The victory over Galbraith elevated Feijao to light-heavyweight title contender status. Justin Eilers was considered an opponent. Eilers had lost the inaugural EliteXC heavyweight title fight to Antonio Silva, and decided to move down to the light-heavyweight division. EliteXC officials booked Feijao in a fight with Cyrille Diabate to crown the first ElitXC light-heavyweight champion. Diabete later withdrew from the scheduled November bout in Reno, Nevada. Feijao remained on the card, waiting to face an opponent who had yet to be named. The event did not transpire as a result of the promotion's closure in October 2008 because of financial pressures. In early 2009, Feijao's contract, among other EliteXC fighters, were purchased by Strikeforce (2009). Feijao was slated to meet then light-heavyweight champion Renato Sobral in his first Strikeforce bout at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields (2009). Sobral cancelled for personal reasons and Jared Hamman was named as his replacement. Hamman had to withdraw after suffering an injury, and Mike Kyle became Feijao's newest opponent. In an upset loss in the view of many, Kyle Feijao's by hurting him with punches late in the second round for the referee to declare a technical knockout. Fejjao believed the changed in opponents affected his fight plan, in addition to weight troubles prior to the fight. The loss to Kyle derailed the momentum of Feijao, a highly touted student of "Minotauro" Nogueira and Anderson Silva. At Strikeforce Challengers: Strikeforce Challengers 5 (2009) Aaron Rosa was his opponent. Feijao neutralized the punches of Rosa by clinching with him against the cage. Feijao implemented an inside leg trip on Rosa then landed punches as Rosa stood up. The rest of the round was occasion exchange of strikes between the two with Feijao mostly holding Rosa against the cage. The second round begun with distance between the two, which Feijao again closed when Rosa started to land strikes. Feijao changed the direction of the fight by hitting Rosa with an overhand right punch, a flying knee, followed by an elbow then took him to the ground. Feijao controlled his opponent and connected with punches on the ground until he landed an elbow-illegal while on the ground in Strikeforce-and the referee intervened. After a warning, the fight was restarted on the feet and Feijao immediately sent Rosa to the ground with a big a right hand. Feijao followed up and landing punches to the downed Rosa and the referee ended the bout by technical knockout. Feijao met an aggressive foe in Antwain Britt at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery (2010). Britt, physically larger, had Feijao on the defensive. Feijao swiftly reversed Britt in a clinch against the cage, and they resumed action and Feijao landed two knees then lost his balance after missing a right knee. He quickly got up, and after a momentary lull in action, Britt resumed his aggression with more punches then controlled Feijao against the cage. Britt landed more strikes and staggered Feijao with a right uppercut. It preempted attempts by Feijao to initiate any strikes from a Muay Thai clinch, as one of Feijao's mentors, Anderson Silva, could be heard shouting instructions from the corner. Britt pursued again, and Feijao managed to connect with knees in a clinch. As the fighters competed for position against the cage, the referee separated them. Feijao exploited the break land a head kick then with punches which hurt Britt. Feijao followed Britt to the ground with more punches and ended the bout by knockout. Before Strikeforce: Los Angeles (2010) in which Renato Sobral won a decision over Robbie Lawler, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had announced that the winner would be a challenger for the light-heavyweight championship. Sobral, a former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, declined the title opportunity against his friend and training partner King Mo. Instead, Sobral campaigned for a rematch with Dan Henderson to avenge a majority decision loss in Japan's Rings promotion 10 years before. Feijao was granted the title fight with Lawal at Strikeforce: Houston (2010). Lawal had defeated Gegard Mousasi for the championship at CBS Strikeforce Saturday Night Fights (2010). Preparing for Lawal, Feijao was aware of his opponent's wrestling credentials. Early in round one, Lawal got a hold of Cavalcante and slammed him to the ground. Cavalacante worked his way back to get the fight standing. Cavalcante used jabs and knees to keep Lawal at distance and prevented further takedowns. In the second round, Cavalcante pushed the fight by landing strikes on Lawal, who then took Cavalcante to the ground where he landed strikes.While standing. Cavalcante defended against additional takedown attempts by Lawal. At the start of the 3rd round, Cavalcante began landing punches, knees and elbows which sent Lawal collapsing backward. Hurt, Lawal tried taking down Cavalcante who landed several elbows to the side of Lawal's head. Lawal collapsed and the fight was stopped after 1:14 by technical knockout, making Feijao the new Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: invictorious

Trivia (1)

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