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Ex-RIZIN champ Manel Kape signs multi-fight deal with UFC

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Manel Kape captured the vacant bantamweight title at RIZIN's last card in December 2019.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Former RIZIN bantamweight champion Manel Kape is headed to the UFC.

Kape has signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC after an impressive 3-0 run inside the RIZIN ring in 2019, sources told MMA Fighting following a report by Combate.

Manel Kape signs his UFC contract
AKA Thailand

Kape most recently fought on Dec. 31, when he won the bantamweight title by knocking out Kai Asakura. "Prodígio" also finished Seiichiro Ito and Takeya Mizugaki last year in Japan.

The AKA Thailand talent is the first fighter from Angola to enter the Octagon since jiu-jitsu world champion Joao Roque’s sole appearance against Jens Pulver at UFC 26 in 2000.

Kape had an impressive start under the RIZIN banner in 2017 with quick knockouts over Erson Yamamoto and Ian McCall. He then lost back-to-back fights to Kyoji Horiguchi and Asakura. Since then, he’s won three of his past four, racking up a 15-4 record with 14 stoppage wins.