Rafael Cavalcante

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Rafael Cavalcante
Born (1980-04-05) April 5, 1980 (age 34)
Ilha Solteira, São Paulo, Brazil
Other names Feijão (Bean)
Nationality Brazilian
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 206 lb (93 kg; 14 st 10 lb)
Division Heavyweight (265 lb)
Light Heavyweight (205 lb)
Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Team X-Gym
Black House
Rank Black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Years active 2006–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 18
Wins 12
By knockout 11
By submission 1
Losses 5
By knockout 3
By decision 1
By disqualification 1
No contests 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Rafael Cavalcante (born April 5, 1980) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist competing in the UFC's Light Heavyweight division. He trains with Anderson Silva and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira as part of the Black House camp. He formerly competed in Strikeforce, where he was at one time Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion. He currently competes in the UFC. His nickname "Feijão" (pronounced: [fejˈʒɐ̃w]) means "bean" in Portuguese. As of May 26, 2014, he is #12 in official UFC Light Heavyweight rankings.[1]


Cavalcante is from São Paulo, Brazil and began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 10. Cavalcante also studied in veterinary medicine for five years and it was the legendary Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira who personally convinced Cavalcante's father to allow his son to give up his medical career, in order to focus solely on training for a career in professional fighting under the tutelage of Nogueira. Cavalcante began training at Nogueira's gym daily, alongside the likes of Anderson Silva, Andre Galvao, and Nogueira's twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.[2]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Cavalcante made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2006, compiling an undefeated record of 3-0 before being signed by the IFL.


Cavalcante made his promotional debut at IFL: Atlanta, facing veteran Devin Cole whom he defeated via TKO early in the second round. Cavalcante made his next appearance at IFL: Las Vegas, facing fellow Brazilian Marcio Cruz. Cavalcante lost the fight via disqualification in the third round due to illegal upkicks. This was Cavalcante's first professional defeat.


In 2008, Cavalcante began competing for EliteXC, making his debut for the promotion and Light Heavyweight debut at EliteXC: Street Certified on February 16, 2008, facing John Doyle. Cavalcante won via TKO in the first round.

Cavalcante made his next appearance at EliteXC: Return of the King on June 14, 2008 against veteran Wayne Cole. Cavalcante won via TKO, after knocking down Cole with a series of punches and knees. On July 26, 2008, Cavalcante faced Travis Galbraith, who was given a weeks' notice for the fight, at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Cavalcante won via knockout in the first round.

Cavalcante was next scheduled to fight for the inaugural EliteXC Light Heavyweight Championship against Cyrille Diabate in November of 2008, but Diabate pulled out due to an injury, and the event itself was eventually folded as EliteXC closed operations a month before the fight's scheduled date. Cavalcante's contract was later purchased by Strikeforce.[3]


On June 6, 2009, Cavalcante was originally scheduled to face Renato Sobral at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields, but Sobral pulled out due to personal reasons, and was replaced by Jared Hamman, who also pulled out, due to an injury. Cavalcante instead faced UFC veteran Mike Kyle. Cavalcante was handed his first decisive defeat, losing to Kyle via knockout.[4]

On May 15, 2010 Cavalcante knocked out Antwain Britt at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery to become the number one contender for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.

Cavalcante fought against the heavily-touted Muhammed Lawal in Houston, Texas for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship, and defeated Lawal by TKO due to elbows from the clinch at 1:14 of round 3 to become the new Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion.[5]

Cavalcante lost his title to Dan Henderson via third-round TKO, on March 5, 2011.[6][7]

Cavalcante faced Yoel Romero on September 10, 2011 at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov.[8] He won the fight via KO in the second round.

Feijao fought a rematch against Mike Kyle on 19 May 2012. He avenged his previous defeat by rocking Kyle with a knee and then choked him out with a guillotine choke after 33 seconds in the first round. After the fight he tested positive for the banned substance stanozolol. As a result the fight was overturned to a "no contest" by the CSAC and he was fined $2,500 and suspended for a year.[9]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Cavalcante made his anticipated UFC debut against Thiago Silva on June 8, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV 10.[10] Despite success early in the first round, Cavalcante lost via knock out at the end of the round. Though he lost, he still earned the Fight of the Night bonus along with Silva.

Cavalcante faced Igor Pokrajac on November 9, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 32.[11] He won the fight via submission due to strikes in the first round.[12]

Cavalcante faced Ryan Bader on June 14, 2014 at UFC 174.[13] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 12–5 (1) Ryan Bader Decision (unanimous) UFC 174 June 14, 2014 3 5:00 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Win 12–4 (1) Igor Pokrajac TKO (knees and punches) UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson November 9, 2013 1 1:18 Goiânia, Brazil
Loss 11–4 (1) Thiago Silva KO (punches) UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs. Werdum June 8, 2013 1 4:29 Fortaleza, Brazil Fight of the Night
NC 11–3 (1) Mike Kyle NC (overturned by CSAC) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier May 19, 2012 1 0:33 San Jose, California, United States Original submission win; overturned as Cavalcante failed drug test.
Win 11–3 Yoel Romero KO (punches and knee) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov September 10, 2011 2 4:51 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Loss 10–3 Dan Henderson TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson March 5, 2011 3 0:50 Columbus, Ohio, United States Lost the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 10–2 Muhammed Lawal TKO (punches and elbows) Strikeforce: Houston August 21, 2010 3 1:14 Houston, Texas, United States Won the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 9–2 Antwain Britt KO (punches) Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery May 15, 2010 1 3:45 St. Louis, Missouri, United States Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title eliminator.
Win 8–2 Aaron Rosa TKO (punches) Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Bears November 20, 2009 2 3:35 Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Loss 7–2 Mike Kyle TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields June 6, 2009 2 4:05 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 7–1 Travis Galbraith KO (knees) EliteXC: Unfinished Business July 26, 2008 1 3:01 Stockton, California, United States
Win 6–1 Wayne Cole TKO (punches) EliteXC: Return of the King June 14, 2008 1 2:47 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 5–1 John Doyle TKO (knee to the body) EliteXC: Street Certified February 16, 2008 1 2:17 Miami, Florida, United States Light Heavyweight debut
Loss 4–1 Márcio Cruz DQ (illegal upkick) IFL: Las Vegas June 16, 2007 3 3:42 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Disqualified for delivering an illegal upkick
Win 4–0 Devin Cole TKO (punches) IFL: Atlanta February 23, 2007 2 0:26 Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Win 3–0 Rubens Xavier Submission (punches) MF 5 December 9, 2006 1 2:30 São Paulo, Brazil
Win 2–0 Miodrag Petković TKO (knee and punches) WFC: Europe vs Brazil May 20, 2006 2 1:37 Koper, Slovenia
Win 1–0 Eduardo Maiorino KO (punches) Pantanal Combat February 10, 2006 1 4:13 Cuiabá, Brazil

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  2. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3027852/bio
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3027852/bio
  4. ^ Strikeforce – Lawler vs. Shields. Sherdog.com (2009-06-06). Retrieved on 2014-01-27.
  5. ^ Fight Week Live. Sherdog.com (2010-06-16). Retrieved on 2014-01-27.
  6. ^ Knapp, Brian (March 5, 2011). "Another Title for ‘Hendo’". Sherdog. 
  7. ^ Smith, Michael David (2011-03-05). "Dan Henderson Beats Rafael Feijao Cavalcante, Wins Strikeforce Belt". USA: MMAFighting.com. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  8. ^ "Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Yoel Romero slotted for Sept. 10 Strikeforce event". mmajunkie.com. 2011-07-21. 
  9. ^ "Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante Tests Positive for Banned Substance Following Mike Kyle Win". mmafighting.com. 2012-06-15. 
  10. ^ Alexander, Mookie (2013-03-10). "Thiago Silva vs. Rafael Cavalcante moved to UFC on Fuel TV 10". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  11. ^ Staff (2013-09-05). "Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante vs. Igor Pokrajac joins UFC Fight Night 32 lineup". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  12. ^ "UFC Fight Night 32: BELFORT X HENDERSON". cabmma.org.br. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  13. ^ Trent Reinsmith (2014-04-03). "Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante targeted for UFC 174". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  14. ^ http://m.sherdog.com/news/articles/3/Sherdogs-2010-AllViolence-Team-29293

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Muhammed Lawal
5th Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion
August 21, 2010 – March 5, 2011
Succeeded by
Dan Henderson