UFC on Fuel TV 10: June 8, 2013 Ginásio Paulo Sarasate in Fortaleza, Brazil UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Rafael Cavalcante (-150) Profile: Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (11-3, 1 No-Contest) is a monster of a man. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion is a legit UFC light heavyweight contender in size with heavy hands and a BJJ black belt. The 32-year-old Brazilian spends most of his time training at the famed Black House with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and the Noguiera brothers, which means he has the best of the best in terms of training. Cavalcante can strike with just about anyone, and he is comfortable off his back and on top. He could potentially be a great addition to the somewhat shallow UFC light heavyweight division if he can just stay focused and clean. Cavalcante’s most recent win over Mike Kyle in May of 2012 was ruled a NC after he tested positive for the banned substance stanozolol, resulting in a $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension. He is set to return and make his UFC debut at UFC on FUEL TV 10. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Thiago Silva (+110) Profile: At one point one of the most fascinating fighters in the UFC light heavyweight division, Thiago Silva (14-3, 2 NC) brought his intimidating swagger and striking into the organization with style, ending his first four opponents with strikes. This brought him to 13-0 and earned him a spot across the cage from Lyoto Machida for a chance to enter the UFC’s upper echelon. Then, Machida unmercifully knocked him out at the very end of the first round, and he has never been the same. The 30-year-old Brazilian rebounded quickly with a KO win over Keith Jardine only to find himself on the wrong end of a frustrating unanimous decision loss to Rashad Evans. Silva then walked away with a NC due to a failed drug test following a UD win over Brandon Vera and followed that up with another loss to Alexander Gustafsson. He is coming off another NC after testing positive for marijuana metabolites, which overturned an arm-triangle submission victory against Stanislav Nedkov and led to a six-month suspension. Silva is entering a crucial stage of his career, as his head has not been in the game lately, and he could end up getting cut from the UFC with another disappointing performance. It will be interesting to see if his physical skills remain intact since he still has some of the best training in the world with the Blackzilians.
Opening UFC on FUEL TV 10 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Cavalcante a small -150 favorite (bet $150 to win $100) while Silva opened as a +110 underdog (bet $100 to win $110) at 5Dimes sportsbook. Even though the light heavyweight division lacks depth right now, there is a possibility that the loser of this matchup could be on his way out of the organization because both just served suspensions. Silva especially has a lot to prove here with just one victory in his last six bouts, with the lone win during that stretch coming against Keith Jardine, who is no longer in the UFC. Cavalcante is in a similar spot and may be under even more pressure to perform in the UFC for the first time. Each fighter relies heavily on his fists with a combined 21 knockouts among 25 wins between them overall. However, Cavalcante’s last KO took place in 2011, and you have to go back more than two years prior to that for Silva. Nobody knows how these two fighters will come out for this bout, but you can probably guess they will both be swinging for the fences in an effort to end it quickly. Cavalcante figures to have a slight edge since he has actually registered four official wins since Silva’s last victory and also earned the Strikeforce title during that stretch. He seems to have a brighter future than Silva as well, although that’s contingent on beating him.