Pre-Fight Interview; HERO’S 2006 Middleweight Champion, Gesias “JZ” CavalcantiDenis: How are you feeling about fighting for the first time in an US big show?
JZ: My feeling is the same of events that I fought here and in Japan. I mixed up then because I fought big organizations and for huge crowds in Japan and fought in my home at small ones, here in North America. So I’m feeling good about fighting a big event for the first time ever in my home.
DM: How are you seeing this big publicity of K-1 Dynamite in USA?
JZ: I think they’re making the correct spotlight to the shows. They’re focusing in the debuts of Jonnie Morton and Brock Lesnar, plus Kazushi Sakuraba x Royce Gracie 2.
DM: Talking about this publicity; why do you think they’re not talking your name? I meant, you’re the middleweight champion and they don’t give you publicity over that in the USA.
JZ: I’m not very known in USA, my fame is all in Japan, I don’t have much name here. If the HERO’S was shown at the ppv, they would explore my image further. This show will be a good opportunity for me.
DM: So you have a responsibility of making a great performance, right?
JZ: I’m relaxed. I can’t put this weight over my shoulders. The fans will see me fighting and they will know me well.
DM: You’re taking on a good fighter, but who is not very known. What’s your thoughts about Nam Phan?
JZ: He’s tough fighter, has good victories and his resume is respectable. He never fought against a fighter with big reputation, the only time he faced someone with a good name was against Josh “The Punk” Thomson. But I’m sure he has a lot of will and the fight will be good.
DM: What did you know about his game?
JZ: He’s from BJJ, but likes to fight on the feet. He has a good right overhand and he’s very aggressive. I think he has all the tools, as well as good cardio, wrestling and good boxing.
DM: You had some injuries since you fought last time in December. Are you 100% healed for this up & coming match?
JZ: The injuries pursued me, but I’m okay now. I kept a good diet and I trained very well for this fight. So I’m going with 100% of my conditions.
DM: Fans are calling this fight an easy one for you. How do you face that?
JZ: I already faced a tournament and high level caliber fighters, and I face each fight such as a serious one. My focus is my training and I’m motivated for this fight because everything worked nicely. I am dedicated and I’ll face Nam Phan with a lot of seriousness.
DM: You mentioned the names of Morton and Lesnar and Sakuraba/Gracie 2. Are these the fights you’re more interested in watching?
JZ: Sakura x Gracie 2, the fights of my teammates Antonio Silva (aka Pezao) and Brad Pickett, and Melvin Manhoef’s fight too.
DM: After this fight against Nam Phan at June 2nd, you already have a commitment against Masato under K-1 rules at June 28th. What can you tell us about this experience?
JZ: The fight will be hard, but I don’t see it as an impossible mission. I spent a period training in Holland and I’ve Ouali Mohammed, who’s already faced Masato, as my coach. I like challenges and even though I’m a champion in MMA, I don’t have pretensions of becoming a K-1 Max champion. This fight against Masato will be a test for me. Everyone who steps in the ring knows he has a 50% chances of winning or losing. I’ll give my best against him, and even I’m not a striker I was chosen to fight. This fight will be profitable.
DM: Is there a scheduled fight for you in HERO’s?
JZ: The tournament starts on July 15th and there’s a possibility of fighting. But nothing is confirmed, I have a place guaranteed in the semifinals. After this fight against Masato, I’ll see what’s reserved for me.
DM: Into the semifinals of last HERO’s middleweight GP you guillotine choked Rani Yahya in seconds, and he became the ADCC under 65kg champion this year. How do you see that?
JZ: My friends and fans mentioned about that, I submitted a ADCC World Champion in seconds. However these are different sports – MMA and Submission. I think Rani is the man, because he submitted Leonardo Vieira, who was a dominant champion in last two editions.
DM: People are expecting your fight against Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto (first middleweight champion) in HERO’S. But who are the other high level fighters of this show in your category?
JZ: Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Kazuyuki Miyata and Black Bamba, there are a lot of good fighters with awesome points, I don’t discard any fighter, I always explore the positive side of each fighter. They all have merits; all fights are hard. In a moment you’ll have a trouble when you’re fighting.
DM: Last words JZ?
JZ: After my hand surgery in last year, I am coming back with a huge will of fighting, I’m angry. I wanted to fight in March, but I wasn’t 100% yet, so I’m coming very motivated, I’ll fight twice this month. My conditioning is high. My training if very good because all of my team has fights and the level is fantastic. The quality of my teammates added to the high pace we are taking that, is a huge combination for great performances. Fan can expect my best, like always!