Rafael Cavalcante

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Rafael Cavalcante
Born (1980-04-05) 5 April 1980 (age 42)
Ilha Solteira, São Paulo, Brazil
Other namesFeijão
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
DivisionHeavyweight (265 lb)
Light heavyweight (205 lb)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
Fighting out ofRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Team Nogueira
RankBlack belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,[1] Black belt in Muay Thai
Years active2006–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout13
By knockout4
By decision2
By disqualification1
No contests1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Rafael Cavalcante (born 5 April 1980) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who fights in the light heavyweight division. He is currently competing for Bellator MMA. 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. His nickname "Feijão" (pronounced [fejˈʒɐ̃w]) means "bean" in Portuguese. He holds notable wins over Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and Yoel Romero.


Cavalcante is from São Paulo, Brazil and began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 10. Cavalcante also studied veterinary medicine for five years at the Universidade de Cuiaba - UNIC in his adopted hometown of Cuiaba, Mato Grosso, 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, André Galvão, and Nogueira's twin brother, Antônio Rogério Nogueira.[2]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Cavalcante made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2006, in the Pantanal Combat tournament, in the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, 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 Márcio 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 16 February 2008, facing John Doyle. Cavalcante won via TKO in the first round.

Cavalcante made his next appearance at EliteXC: Return of the King on 14 June 2008 against veteran Wayne Cole. Cavalcante won via TKO, after knocking down Cole with a series of punches and knees. On 26 July 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 Diabaté in November 2008, but Diabaté 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 6 June 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 15 May 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 5 March 2011.[6][7]

Cavalcante faced Yoel Romero on 10 September 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 8 June 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 9 November 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 14 June 2014 at UFC 174.[13] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Cavalcante faced Patrick Cummins on 1 August 2015 at UFC 190.[14] He lost the back-and-forth fight by TKO due to elbows in the third round.[15]

Cavalcante faced Ovince Saint Preux on 6 February 2016 at UFC Fight Night 82.[16] He lost the fight by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).[17] After his loss to Ovince Saint Preux, he was subsequently released from the promotion.

Bellator MMA[edit]

On 1 July 2017, Cavalcante defeated Dan Konecke via technical knockout in the first round to earn a Bellator MMA contract.[18]

Personal life[edit]

In June 2016, Cavalcante was involved in a bar fight at a country music bar in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso. In a police report, Cavalcante claims a man forcefully grabbed his girlfriend and along with a friend threatened to kill him. The other man stated Cavalcante verbally abused him and punched him in the face. [1]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
21 matches 13 wins 7 losses
By knockout 13 4
By decision 0 2
By disqualification 0 1
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 13–7 (1) Dan Konecke TKO (punches) World Fight Tour 7: Road To Bellator 1 July 2017 1 4:10 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Loss 12–7 (1) Ovince Saint Preux Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson 6 February 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 12–6 (1) Patrick Cummins TKO (elbows) UFC 190 1 August 2015 3 0:45 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Loss 12–5 (1) Ryan Bader Decision (unanimous) UFC 174 14 June 2014 3 5:00 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Win 12–4 (1) Igor Pokrajac TKO (knees and punches) UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 9 November 2013 1 1:18 Goiânia, Brazil
Loss 11–4 (1) Thiago Silva KO (punches) UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs. Werdum 8 June 2013 1 4:29 Fortaleza, Brazil Fight of the Night.
NC 11–3 (1) Mike Kyle NC (overturned) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier 19 May 2012 1 0:33 San Jose, California, United States Originally a submission (guillotine choke) win for Cavalcante; overturned after he tested positive for stanozolol.
Win 11–3 Yoel Romero KO (punches) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov 10 September 2011 2 4:51 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Loss 10–3 Dan Henderson TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson 5 March 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 21 August 2010 3 1:14 Houston, Texas, United States Won the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 9–2 Antwain Britt KO (punches) Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery 15 May 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 20 November 2009 2 3:35 Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Loss 7–2 Mike Kyle TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields 6 June 2009 2 4:05 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 7–1 Travis Galbraith KO (knees) EliteXC: Unfinished Business 26 July 2008 1 3:01 Stockton, California, United States
Win 6–1 Wayne Cole TKO (punches) EliteXC: Return of the King 14 June 2008 1 2:47 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 5–1 John Doyle TKO (knee to the body) EliteXC: Street Certified 16 February 2008 1 2:17 Miami, Florida, United States Light Heavyweight debut.
Loss 4–1 Márcio Cruz DQ (illegal upkick) IFL: Las Vegas 16 June 2007 3 3:42 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 4–0 Devin Cole TKO (punches) IFL: Atlanta 23 February 2007 2 0:26 Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Win 3–0 Rubens Xavier TKO (Submission to punches) MF 5 9 December 2006 1 2:30 São Paulo, Brazil
Win 2–0 Miodrag Petkovic TKO (knee and punches) WFC: Europe vs Brazil 20 May 2006 2 1:37 Koper, Slovenia
Win 1–0 Eduardo Maiorino KO (punches) Pantanal Combat 10 February 2006 1 4:13 Cuiabá, Brazil

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Rafael Cavalcante".
  3. ^ "Rafael Cavalcante".
  4. ^ Strikeforce – Lawler vs. Shields. Sherdog.com (6 June 2009). Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  5. ^ Fight Week Live. Sherdog.com (16 June 2010). Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  6. ^ Knapp, Brian (5 March 2011). "Another Title for 'Hendo'". Sherdog.
  7. ^ Smith, Michael David (5 March 2011). "Dan Henderson Beats Rafael Feijao Cavalcante, Wins Strikeforce Belt". USA: MMAFighting.com. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Yoel Romero slotted for Sept. 10 Strikeforce event". mmajunkie.com. 21 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante Tests Positive for Banned Substance Following Mike Kyle Win". mmafighting.com. 15 June 2012.
  10. ^ Alexander, Mookie (10 March 2013). "Thiago Silva vs. Rafael Cavalcante moved to UFC on Fuel TV 10". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  11. ^ Staff (5 September 2013). "Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante vs. Igor Pokrajac joins UFC Fight Night 32 lineup". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  12. ^ "UFC Fight Night 32: BELFORT X HENDERSON". cabmma.org.br. 11 September 2013. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  13. ^ Trent Reinsmith (3 April 2014). "Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante targeted for UFC 174". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  14. ^ Alex Schlinsky (22 May 2015). "Patrick Cummins vs Rafael Cavalcante set for UFC 190 in Brazil". mmamania.com. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  15. ^ Matt Erickson (1 August 2015). "UFC 190 results: Patrick Cummins devastates Rafael Cavalcante with elbows". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  16. ^ Staff (16 December 2015). "Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante meets Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 82 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  17. ^ Steven Marrocco (6 February 2016). "UFC Fight Night 82 results: Injured Ovince Saint Preux dominates Rafael Cavalcante". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Bellator improves light heavyweight roster with former Strikeforce champ, UFC vet "Feijao"". 5 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Sherdog's 2010 All-Violence Team - Second Team".

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by 5th Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion
21 August 2010 – 5 March 2011
Succeeded by