Rafael Cavalcante: “I feel that I grew a lot during the suspension.”

Light heavyweight Rafael Cavalcante will make his UFC debut tonight without the luxury of having fought in more than a year. Rather than “Feijao” sidelined due to injury or a contractual dispute, the 32-year old was shelved based on a suspension for PED use relating to a 2012 win over Mike Kyle.

Cavalcante spoke some about the situation in an interview with the UFC’s website, saying he used the time wisely and felt it would pay off in a few hours when he faces Thiago Silva at UFC on Fuel TV 10.

“I feel that I grew a lot during the suspension. I worked very hard, I had the full support of my Team Nogueira family, I kept my focus and I now believe I am in my best shape, even better than before.”

“I took almost three months off and came back in stages. I first prepared my body to get back in training, then I started training and had the chance to be a part of some of my teammates’ best camps. I really had a chance to work hard and adjust everything.”

“They have been through a lot both inside and outside the ring, and they pass that experience on. They also help fine tune things and help with game plans, things that only experience can bring.”