UFC Fight Night: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape Preview

Alexandre Pantoja
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JULY 19: Alexandre Pantoja of Brazil stands in his corner between rounds of his flyweight bout against Askar Askarov of Russia during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 19, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC has made the trip back from Fight Island to Las Vegas and will hold an event Saturday night at the Apex Center. All week MMA Sucka will be featuring preview articles on the fights that make up the main card. You can find our main event preview here. For this article, I’ll be focusing on the flyweight contest between Alexandre Pantoja and UFC newcomer Manel Kape.

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape

Manel Kape has won three of his last four fights in the RIZIN promotion and gets no breaks as he’ll debut against the fifth-ranked flyweight in Pantoja. Kape is an outstanding striker and trains with Mike Swick at AKA Thailand. It should be an excellent fight and could well be in the running for the fight of the night.

Alexandre Pantoja (22-5)

Pantoja fights out American Top Team and has won four of his last six fights. That said, he has lost two of his last three and enters this fight really needing an outstanding performance and a victory to get his footing in the flyweight division. His losses were to flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and the unbeaten Askar Askarov. That’s why he’s still ranked in the top five despite those losses. He’s been beaten by the highest level fighters in the division.

Pantoja’s three previous victories in the UFC all came via the first-round TKO. He finished Matt Schnell, Wilson Reis, and Ulka Sasaki. He also defeated Brandon Moreno who recently fought to a draw with champion Figueiredo.

Manel Kape has won three high-profile fights in a row for RIZIN in Japan. Those victories came over Kai Asakura, Takeya Mizugaki, and Seiichiro Ito.  He has established himself as a fast and powerful striker. “Starboy” has twice supposed to had made his debut but consecutive fights fell through. He is finally ready to step into the Octagon for the first time and blast his way into the limelight.

Here’s a look at his upset stoppage victory over Kai Asakura. He has hands!

Full UFC Vegas 18 fight card 

Main Card

Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov
Frankie Edgar vs. Cory Sandhagen
Macy Chiasson vs. Marion Reneau
Manel Kape vs. Alexandre Pantoja
Cody Stamann vs. TBA (Ewell Out)
Beneil Dariush vs. Diego Ferreira

Preliminary Fights

Clay Guida vs. Michael Johnson
Danilo Marques vs. Mike Rodriguez
Martin Day vs. Timur Valiev
Justin Jaynes vs. Devonte Smith
Joselyne Edwards vs. Karol Rosa
Molly McCann vs. Lara Procopio
Seungwoo Choi vs. Youssef Zalal
Denys Bondar vs. Ode Osbourne

Feature Image:

Embed from Getty Images

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