Exclusive Interview: Saulo ‘Cassius Clay’ Cavalari

The former Glory Kickboxing Light Heavyweight World Champion Opens up.

Saulo Cavalari at a Glory Kickboxing Press Conference

Saulo Cavalari was born on May 23rd 1989 in Curitiba, Brazil. He’s a light heavyweight kickboxer, bare knuckle fighter and mixed martial artist, fighting out of the Academia Thai Brasil gym in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. He has competed for K-1, and is currently signed to Glory Kickboxing, where he is the former Glory Light Heavyweight World champion.

FIGHT SPORTS: Right Champ: Could you please tell our readers a little about yourself?

Cavalari: Absolutely: I’m the the father of a beautiful and strong 4 year old boy – his name is Dom Antônio Cavalari. I currently live in Curitiba, Paraná.

Outside of Kickboxing I take care of my family. I live with my father, and I live fully for the world of fights!

I work organizing events, and I invest in the construction of real estate, and I also invest in the food industry!

Currently my volunteer work is always doing a celebration with homeless people by donating food and clothing.

The sport gave me some opportunities – I started from a difficult place. I fell and got up again, and this I imagine many people in difficult situations can be inspired by. You know all the things I went through, but still had and have the strength to keep fighting and be strong. And believing that everything always gets better!

Tyrone Spong vs. Saulo Cavalari at Glory Kickboxing
Cavalari fought the feared and talented Tyrone “King of the Ring” Spong.

 

FIGHT SPORTS: Very inspiring. I really respect that!

So you used to fight for Glory Kickboxing for a few years. What happened?

Cavalari: Yes, I’m the Glory Kickboxing Light Heavyweight World champion, but I had an injury where I broke my hand in March 2017 during training in Brazil in preparation for a fight in China. So I had to stay away for a year in the middle of a good phase of my career: I was 28 years old and with great experience in the world of Kickboxing. Then I had to recover and spend an entire season looking after myself and taking care of my hand. At the end when I returned to training I suffered a hip injury. I then did a conservative treatment without any operation: I did physiotherapy and it took + 1 year to return. All in all it too two years of treatment for both the hand and the hip, and on my return to fighting in 2019 the Corona pandemic hit, and Glory Kickboxing unfortunately had to stop for a while to wait for things to turn normal again.

I’m grateful for everything Glory has done for me and for my career. I was even thinking about putting Glorion in my son’s name, but his mother wouldn’t let me, ha ha.

Glory helped me and changed my life and the life of my family too.

I currently have a great affection for this organization, and I still have fights left on my contract, and have fights, I’d like to see happen – like with Gökhan Saki.

I’d like to thank the organization and everybody involved – the fans of the sport. I love Kickboxing so much.

Saulo Cavalari at a K-1 Press Conference in Japan
Saulo Cavalari at a K-1 Press Conference in Japan.                                                                                       Photo courtesy of K-1.

 

FIGHT SPORTS: That’s really cool. Apparently Glory takes good care of their fighters, and creates opportunities changing the life of people.

Did you fight after Glory put things on hold, or…?

Cavalari: Yeah, I’ve been fighting professional boxing with and without gloves in Russia! I like to represent Kickboxing in this sport, which I also love. I am very happy because it’s like a new beginning of a new phase in my life and career. You know after the injuries and the pandemic. I feel the adrenaline again. Something I was missing in my life, but also just returning to the ring. I’ve missed that!

FIGHT SPORTS: You’re a real warrior. I like that.

What kind of disciplines do you practice in these days?

Cavalari: Currently I’ve been training Russian Boxing and physical training with the focus of longevity in the sports.

I’ve been keeping myself active training Russian Boxing, practicing Jiu-Jitsu, and I’ve also had some MMA fights because I want to make history in the fighting world.

My trainers right now are Rafael Waslov and André Neo, and my physical trainer is Felipe Pastorini. These prepare me for the fights. Also Dr. Farouk: he’s been with me through my injuries, and helped me during difficult times.

Saulo Cavalari wins by KO at Glory Kickboxing
“Cassius Clay” getting the job done.

 

FIGHT SPORTS: A true warrior – I like that.

What do your friends and family think about your chosen career?

Cavalari: My late mother was SUPER supportive of me. My father respects my choice. I understand they can be upset, when I come home with a broken face – they can get a little apprehensive, ha ha. And my son, whom I really love, is really happy seeing me fight!

When I was going for the title, and when I had good results, everyone was always waiting back home for me to celebrate and party.

These days I’m dating a girl who is supporting me when I fight – she is not the mother of my son, but she supports me a lot. She my baby!

FIGHT SPORTS: That’s great: support is extremely important.

Could you please tell our readers a bit about how a normal week looks like for you? Training wise.

Cavalari: Sure. I do fight preparation everyday at ten in the morning. Then I do weight training at 3 in the afternoon.

Every night I go walking, and also the night time is for social life.

I really appreciate being a fighter as my job, but I think the night time is great to enjoy with family and social life – it’s good for the head to work you know!

Saulo Cavalari vs. Zack Mwekassa at Bellator 142 'Dynamite 1' Glory
Another W. At Bellator 142 ‘Dynamite 1’ Glory.                                                                                     Photo credit: MMAMania.

 

FIGHT SPORTS: That’s a lot of training: do you have a specific goal?

Cavalari: Currently, as I won the Glory Kickboxing belt in the USA, today my dream in combat sports is to win a belt in Japan or China. I have a strong desire and huge hope to be in ONE Championship one day, and would like to capture their belt.

I’d also really like to fight for K-1 in Japan again – fighting for the Japanese audience. That’s really something special.

FIGHT SPORTS: That’s awesome. You need goals to keep motivated. Fantastic.

What are the biggest Kickboxing achievements you’ve experienced so far in your career?

Cavalari: I was Brazilian champion seven times. South America champion. Kickboxing World Cup champion, and Kickboxing World champion for Glory Kickboxing. I won that title in San José, California.

Another great achievement was training alongside Shogun Rua, Anderson Silva, Jérôme Le Banner and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva. I had some great moments training with these guys. It was a dream come true to be with these stars!

Also when I won my first money at K-1 Japan. My mum was lying in bed, and I showered her with all the money, ha ha.

FIGHT SPORTS: That’s great. Kickboxing can be rewarding in many ways.

Let’s talk about the mental aspect of your job for a bit: How do you really feel when you win a fight and what goes through your mind when you lose?

Cavalari: Today when I win a fight, my team and I are very happy about it and we celebrate. The goal is always the title belt, and to stay active and enjoy the moment.

When defeat comes it is painful! I really learn from defeat, but I don’t really like to let my team down and have them see me being down over a loss!

FIGHT SPORTS: People who have never fought have no idea how mentally difficult it is to be a fighter, and how a loss can really drain you.

Cavalari: Yeah: a defeat is always painful because there are several things involved with it like family, dreams, project and especially time. I really don’t even like to remember my losses!

Saulo Cavalari at a Glory Kickboxing Press Conference

FIGHT SPORTS: I understand.

Mr. Cavalari it has been an honor talking to you. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of FIGHT SPORTS, fans around the world and perhaps your future opponents?

Cavalari: The honor was all mine and my team’s: I leave a hug for my fans, friends and for my opponents who will be in my way Cavalari is BACK – nothing is cheap!

I would really like to thank God, all my coaches and everyone who was with me. My friend Sharon Williams, André Néo, Thom Harinck, Faruk Kalil, Jeferson JZ, Beto Moraes, Dom Cavalari and myself, ha ha.

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