Rizin Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape Signs with UFC

By Tristen Critchfield Mar 31, 2020

Manel Kape has signed a four-fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Kape’s team, AKA Thailand, confirmed the news Monday following an initial report from Combate. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 26-year-old Angola native captured the Rizin Fighting Federation bantamweight crown with a second-round technical knockout of Kai Asakura on Dec. 31.

Kape has compiled a 15-4 career record since making his professional debut in 2012. He joined Rizin in 2017, scoring first-round stoppages of Erson Yamamoto and Ian McCall in the promotion’s bantamweight grand prix before falling to Kyoji Horiguchi in the semifinal round of the bracket.

“Prodigio” has won four of his last five bouts under the Rizin banner, including his championship triumph against Asakura. Kape has finished all but one of his 15 career triumphs via knockout, technical knockout or submission.


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