Two UFC light heavyweights badly in need of a victory decided they were going to have a stand-up war at Fight Night 32 in Brazil, and it led to an explosive matchup. Rafael Cavalcante was able to get his career back on track with a brutal first-round finish of rugged veteran Igor Pokrajac. It was a strong bounce-back effort for Cavalcante, who lost his Octagon debut when he was stopped by Thiago Silva.
The former Strikeforce champion possesses tremendous power, and it was on full display against Pokrajac. All 12 of his career victories have come via knockout. Cavalcante seemed highly motivated to redeem himself in front of the Brazilian crowd after the Silva setback, and it showed as he came into the fight in good physical condition.
Pokrajac, who was coming off a decision loss to Ryan Jimmo, decided that he would engage in a brawl with Cavalcante and it was an exciting affair despite the brief nature of the fight. Both men came out swinging and the aggressive approach proved to be to the detriment of Pokrajac.
He was caught in a clinch by “Feijao” and was subsequently brutalized by a series of knee strikes to the face and body. The end came at 1:18. Cavalcante’s exciting style and ferocious power should leave him in line for some potentially exciting fights in the 205 pound division. He’s been in with some top-level competition during his career, and there are likely some intriguing matchups to make for him moving forward.
It could very well be the end of the line for Pokrajac, who is now just 0-3-1 in his last four fights.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports