Titan FC’s Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante “I want to prove that I’m one of the best”

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565To casual MMA fans, lightweight Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante doesn’t register as a household name, but a hardcore MMA audience will remember the Brazilian for his storied career overseas which saw him win back to back tournaments for K1 in 2006 and 2007. Once considered one of the top 155 pound fighters in the world, Cavalcante (19-8-1 2NC) garnered a lot of hype when he made his Strikeforce debut five years ago. Unfortunately since then, the 31-year old has amassed a 5-5-NC record and part of the problem has been his lack of cage time. Most recently competing for the World Series of Fighting, many fans were wondering if he was released from the promotion or if Cavalcante wanted to leave, like many other fighters have this past year. “I asked for my release” Cavalcante told MMAOddsBreaker. “My last fight was back in July with them. I had the same problem back in the day with Strikeforce. I was getting one fight every six months. It’s a [short] life for a fighter. I need to get my rhythm back. If I’m healthy I always want to be fighting. I’d rather be a free agent fighting with other shows even if I’m [getting paid less]. I believe if I’m [fighting more often], better things are going to come.” It didn’t take long for Cavacante to find a new home as the Titan Fighting Championships scooped up the lightweight fighter last month. Along with the amount of events Titan FC produces each year, Cavalcante also noted their treatment of fighters was a big factor in his decision to sign with them. “I want to get more consistent fights. [Titan FC is] pretty consistent at having shows, having their fighters fight. I’m glad it’s worked out, I explained my situation to them and [they were] happy to have me. That was the main thing for me, and they treat fighters good. I went to one of their last shows in Alabama, they flew me down to do a little promotion. They’re really doing good stuff. Not just for the fighters but also for the community. They can do good stuff for me, getting me more fights and that’s what I feel like I need.” Change is nothing new for the Strikeforce veteran. Shortly after signing with World Series of Fighting in 2012, Cavalcante and his teammates Jorge Santiago and the Villefort brothers – Danillo and Yuri – left American Top Team to form the Blackzillians. It was a difficult decision at the time, but one that Cavalcante believes worked out for the best. “Everyone has different reasons why they left. At the time I was training [at ATT] two my other coaches that I was really close to, they left American Top Team. ATT wouldn’t let me train with them [anymore]. I was doing my strength and conditioning down in south in Miami, like an hour and a half away from where I live. I wasn’t happy with my training. I believed I had great teammates at the time, but overall it wasn’t connecting. Danillo and Yuri had a big problem, having another guy [Glenn Robinson] helping with their management. They had permission from one of the owners, but then on Monday they said [they couldn’t] sign with them. If  [they} signed with them, they’d get kicked out.  Then the four of us went out for lunch. [Danillo] was explaining what was happening with him. I wasn’t happy with the training, Jorge wasn’t happy with the management; he was basically doing his own thing with Japan, with Sengoku.  I said I have you guys to train [with], I don’t mind doing our training and starting a new team. Basically that’s what happened. That’s how we walked away.” The two Florida based camps have been in the spotlight recently as the current season of The Ultimate Fighter pits combatants from both teams against each other in the tournament. With Cavalcante having the unique perspective of having trained with both teams, he thoroughly enjoyed being part of the taping process, as a coach for the Blackzililans. “It’s exciting and [there’s] lot of tension. When I watch the shows now, the fighting doesn’t translate so well, how the room was the day of the fight. You still see a lot of this stuff, the tension. It was really nice, it was a really good experience. For sure it’s going to be a [rebirth] for The Ultimate Fighter.” While there is no official date set for Cavalcante’s Titan FC debut, he believes we could see him in the cage in a couple of months where a rumoured Titan FC card is set to take place in Montreal, Canada. “[Titan FC] said they’re going to put me on the next show. I think that’s going to be June or July, in Montreal. I hope they confirm soon. I’ve never fought [in Canada, but] I been there a couple times corning people. I really like the fans over there, they’re well educated. After a year or two I fought in Japan, I went there to corner  “Pitbull” [Thiago Alves at UFC 124 in 2010] and help him out. I was surprised about how many fans knew about my career, it was a really nice experience there.” The goal for Cavalcante has always been to compete in the UFC and an added benefit to competing in Titan is their UFC out clause. Learning from his past mistakes, the K1 tournament winner explained he is in no rush to make his way to the octagon. “I’ll take it one fight at a time. I need to put everything together and that means winning fights. For sure UFC is best [promotion] around. I want to prove that I’m one of the best [and that] I can beat the best in the lightweight division.” You can follow Gesias on Twitter @Gesias and you can listen to the full interview on Episode 103 of The Parting Shot Podcast (at 50 min mark) 

Written by James Lynch

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