On Saturday, March 5, Henderson (26-8), of Temecula, Calif., will attempt to add another belt to his wardrobe when he challenges defending champion Rafael “Feijao’’ Cavalcante (10-2) of Brazil for the STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) Championship at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, live on SHOWTIME®
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NEW YORK (Feb. 23, 2011) — STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, MMA legendDan Henderson, undefeated lightweightBilly Evangelista, and hard-hitting veteran Jorge Masvidal participated in a national media conference call on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming, highly-anticipated STRIKEFORCE World Championship Doubleheaderon Saturday, March 5, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the main event, Henderson (26-8), of Temecula, Calif., will challenge defending champion Cavalcante (10-2) of Brazil for the STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) Championship. The undefeated Evangelista (11-0), of Fresno, Calif., will take on Masvidal (20-6), of Miami, Fla., at lightweight (155 pounds).
In the opening half of a STRIKEFORCE World Championship Doubleheader, Marloes Coenen(18-4) of the Netherlands will risk her welterweight title for the first time against undefeated Liz “Girl-Rilla’’ Carmouche (6-0), who is replacing an injured Miesha Tate.
Also, American Military hero Tim Kennedy (12-3), of Fort Bragg, N.C., will face Melvin “No Mercy’’ Manhoef (24-8-1) of Amsterdam, Holland, at middleweight (185 pounds).
What the four fighters had to say on Wednesday:
“I want to fight the best out there and that’s what I’m doing on March 5 when I go up against Dan Henderson.”
How has it helped training with two guys who have beaten Dan in Anderson Silva and Antônio Rogério Nogueira?
“We train together every day. I have asked them about their fights against Dan and asked them what they think I need to do. They have told me what they think will work and we have been working on those things.”
“Against every fighter there’s a little bit of a strategy. It doesn’t really matter if I’m fighting for a title or I’m defending a title. It’s really about the fighter and every fighter has different strategies they are going to throw at you. Of course my strategy will differ for this fight as opposed to when I fought King Mo. Every fight is different and it doesn’t really make a difference if I’m fighting for a title or defending one.”
“I like the matchup with Dan wherever it goes: standing up, in the clinch, on the ground, boxing. I’ve put together a strong strategy with my training partners and I just feel really confident for this fight. Wherever the fight goes I’m well prepared for it.
“I was very excited to find out I was fighting someone like Dan Henderson. My goal is to fight the best in the world. Cardio could be the key in the fight but I’ve been training five rounds with different sparring partners, so I’ll be ready.”
“I think the Columbus fans are really going to enjoy this. This definitely keeps me excited about still being able to compete in this sport and challenging myself in what is going to be a very tough opponent.”
What can we expect from you? Can we expect you to look for the knockout?
“I don’t think it’s a big secret both of us are going to be looking for the knockout. We’re both big finishers and most of our finishes have been by strikes. I definitely plan to knock him silly and pressure him the whole time.”
“(Feijao’s last opponent) King Mo and I have very different wrestling styles. He works from the outside, I work from the clinch. I thought Mo didn’t use strikes to set up his wrestling. Feijao throws more looping, than straight punches, but he’s dangerous standing.”
“I’ve been training for different styles of fighters depending on who I’m facing. ‘Feijao’ is a big challenge for me and that’s exciting for me.”
On fighting for a world title:
“It’s like icing on the cake but you have to get the job done. There’s no point in worrying about that now.”
“I don’t feel small or weak at 205 so what’s the point in cutting weight.”
“I fought Anderson Silva in Columbus. I’m excited to go back there; not excited to go back to the cold but excited to fight in front of those fans who are always so excited to watch our fights.”
On the Heavyweight Grand Prix:
“They asked me if I was interested and I said sure. But they’ve obviously gone in a different direction.”
“I’m definitely prepared to go the full five rounds. It was good for me to not have the full nine to 10-month break between fights, although the holidays didn’t help. I’ve stepped it up a notch as far as my conditioning. I stepped on the scale this morning at 203 pounds, so my weight will not be an issue.”
What did you think about Fedor’s performance in the Grand Prix?
“It seems like his heart just isn’t in it. He just needs to get motivated to go out there and train and fight to win. I’m not sure that’s happening. But that’s something you would have to ask him. I’m just here speculating like the rest of you.”
Being undefeated, do you think if you win on March 5 you should be the division’s top contender for a world title?
“I’ll leave that up to STRIKEFORCE. I’ve been competing with them for awhile and I just want a shot at the title one day. That would be great if I could be considered a No. 1 contender.”
What kind of fight are you expecting on March 5?
“I don’t really know what type of fighter Jorge is. I know he’s very long and has a reach advantage. I’m just going to see how the fight goes along and see whichever way I need to take it.”
“I think STRIKEFORCE’s lightweight roster is one of the deeper ones in the entire world in MMA. They’ve got some good talent. I’m not really eyeing anyone. I just do what Mr. Coker tells me to do to get the world title.”
What kind of fight are you expecting on March 5?
“I’m expecting a win. That’s what I’m expecting.”
“I don’t train specifically for any one fighter. I always train generally on the things that I need to work most on. I plan on staying at 155 but I’ll fight at 170 as well. Wherever the money is at is where I’ll go. As long as they pay me I’ll go there and fight the bigger guys. It doesn’t matter to me.”
“I had trouble in my last fight (losing a decision to Paul Daley) just in my weight cutting and other circumstances. But that fight didn’t give me any confidence or take any away. I feel the same as I always have.”
Sao Paulo, Brazil
San Diego, California
March 5th, 2011 – GET TICKETS
On Saturday, March 5, Henderson (26-8), of Temecula, Calif., will attempt to add another belt to his wardrobe when he challenges defending champion Rafael “Feijao’’ Cavalcante (10-2) of Brazil for the STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) Championship at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the opening half of a STRIKEFORCE World Championship doubleheader, Marloes “Rumina’’ Coenen (18-4) of the Netherlands will risk her welterweight title for a first time against No. 1 135-pound contender, Miesha “Takedown’’ Tate (11-2), of Tacoma, Wash.
American military hero Tim Kennedy (12-3) of Fort Bragg, N.C., will be opposed by Luke Rockhold (7-1) at middleweight (185 pounds) and undefeated Billy Evangelista (11-0) of Fresno, Calif., will take on Jorge Masvidal (20-6) of Miami, Fla., at lightweight (155 pounds) in other televised bouts on SHOWTIME.
The event, STRIKEFORCE’s first in the state of Ohio, will take place in conjunction with The Arnold Sports Festival, the nation’s largest health and fitness exposition founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Feb. 4 at the Nationwide Arena ticket office, online at Ticketmaster.com and Strikeforce.com and Ticketmaster by phone at (800) 745-3000.