Kape is a former Rizin Fighting Federation bantamweight champion who signed with the UFC in March 2020. He has been clamoring to set foot inside the Octagon for the first time, and it seems like he won't have to wait much longer.
The 27-year-old had served as a backup fighter for the UFC 256 main event fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, in which the two flyweights engaged in a five-round slugfest.
Manel Kape to debut on UFC Fight Night 186
MMA Fighting has confirmed that Manel Kape's fight against Alexandre Pantoja has been rescheduled for the UFC Fight Night event on February 6.
Ever since Kape signed with the UFC, two of his fights have been scrapped which justifies his stalled debut in the promotion.
The 27-year-old was slated to fight the No. 7-ranked flyweight Rogerio Bontorin on August 15, 2020 at UFC 252. However, Bontorin had to pull out of the fight owing to an ankle injury.
Kape was then scheduled to face Pantoja on December 19 on UFC's last event of the year, but the Brazilian fighter withdrew from the fight due to unknown reasons.
A glance at Manel Kape's career
Manel Kape made his professional MMA debut at the age of 19 in Cage Fighters, a Portuguese MMA promotion. With a string of impressive performances, the Angolan fighter signed with Rizin Fighting Federation in 2017.
Kape commenced his Rizin journey on a high with two successive victories, but soon succumbed to a pair of defeats.
The 27-year-old claimed the Rizin bantamweight championship in his last fight in the promotion against Kai Asakura via TKO in the second round. He extracted his revenge against the Japanese fighter whom he had lost to in 2018.
Currently boasting a 15-4 record, Kape would be hoping to make his UFC debut with a victory against Alexandre Pantoja, who is coming off a loss to Askar Askarov.
However, Pantoja will be a tough nut to crack for Kape, given that he has been able to hang in with some of the UFC's best fighters in the flyweight division.
As of now, some other prominent fights on the UFC Fight Night 186 card include the main event clash between Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov, an exciting bantamweight bout between Cory Sandhagen and Frankie Edgar, and a lightweight fight between two UFC veterans in Clay Guida and Michael Johnson.