Manuel Pedro Gomes[1] (born November 14, 1993), better known as Manel Kape, is an Angolan-born Portuguese professional mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the Flyweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).[4] A professional competitor since 2012, he has formerly competed for Cage Fighters, Knock Out Championship, and Rizin Fighting Federation. He is the former Rizin Bantamweight Champion and the former Knock Out Championship Bantamweight champion.[5] As of June 18, 2024, he is #8 in the UFC flyweight rankings.[6]

Manel Kape
Kape in 2017
BornManuel Pedro Gomes[1]
(1993-11-14) November 14, 1993 (age 30)
Luanda, Angola[2]
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight125 lb (57 kg; 8 st 13 lb)
DivisionFlyweight (2012–2014, 2021–present)
Bantamweight (2014–2019)
Reach68 in (173 cm)[3]
Fighting out ofPhuket, Thailand
TeamAKA Thailand[4]
Years active2012–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout11
By submission5
By decision3
By submission2
By decision4
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Mixed martial arts career


Early career


Kape had several boxing matches prior to beginning his mixed martial arts career, all of which occurred before his first MMA fight at the age of 14.[7][8]

He made his professional debut at 17, fighting with Cage Fighters, at Cage Fighters 2, when he faced Artur Gomes. Kape won the bout in the first round by way of TKO.[9] Fighting at Cage Fighters - Challengers Norte 1 he was scheduled to face Renato Ferreira. He made quick work of his opponent, ending the fight by TKO, after just 45 seconds.[10] Next he fought Ricardo Teixeira, earning his first submission win, ending the fight in the first round with a rear naked choke.[11] His last fight with Cage Fighters was at Cage Fighters 3, when he fought Marco Santos. He won the fight with a unanimous decision.[12]

Moving to Knock Out Championship he fought Souksavanh Khampasath. He would suffer his first professional loss, losing through a rear naked choke.[13] Recouping, he fought Hicham Rachid at Invictus 1, and won the fight with a flying knee to the body.[14] He next fought at Ansgar Fighting League 2, against Daniel Barez. He beat Barez through a verbal tapout, forced by a tight armbar cinched by Kape.[15] Returning to the second Invictus event, Kape faced Miguel Valverde. He won the fight with a rear naked choke in the first round.[16] He was then scheduled to fight Antoine Gallinaro.[17] Kape won the fight in the fourth round through an armbar, which earned him the KOC Bantamweight title.[18] Kape continued his winning streak by beating Francisco Javier Asprilla by way of a third-round TKO.[19]

Kape was scheduled to fight Damien ‘The Rage’ Rooney at BAMMA 22 in the 3Arena in Dublin.[20] Kape would later pull out of the bout.[21] Kape was then set to fight against the Brazilian João Elias, but the fight would likewise be cancelled.[22] Manel Kape was scheduled to fight at Knock Out Championship 9 against Moktar Benkaci for the KOC bantamweight championship.[23] This would be the third consecutive fight that fizzled out for Manel Kape.[24]

Rizin Fighting Federation


Following a two-year hiatus, due to the three canceled bouts, Kape would sign with Rizin Fighting Federation and was set to take part in the Rizin bantamweight Grand Prix. He made his debut at Rizin 6 when he faced Erson Yamamoto. Yamamoto was confused by Kape's trash-talk during the fight, as he allegedly said "[your] mom just lost and [you] are next", since Erson's mother had lost earlier in the evening.[25] Kape would go on to win the fight after just 71 seconds with a left leg head kick KO, although the stoppage was considered early by many observers.[26]

In the second round of the Grand Prix, Kape was scheduled to fight the former Tachi Palace flyweight champion Ian McCall.[27] The two got into a physical altercation at the weigh-ins, with Kape slapping McCall and McCall responding with a strike to the face of Kape. The two had to be separated by the officials present.[28] Kape would win the fight by Doctor Stoppage TKO in the second minute of the first round, after the ringside doctors stopped the fight due to a cut.[29]

In the Grand Prix semifinals he fought one of the world's best bantamweights in Kyoji Horiguchi. Although Kape gave his opponent a competitive fight, he would lose the bout in the third round, after Horiguchi locked in an arm triangle choke.[30]

Kape was scheduled to fight Kai Asakura Rizin 10. He would lose a split decision, in a close and exciting fight, which would be nominated as the Fight of the Month by MMA Junkie.[31]

At Rizin 13, Kape was scheduled to face Yusaku Nakamura.[32] Kape beat Nakamura with a rear naked choke at the end of the third round.[33]

Kape's next fight was against Ulka Sasaki.[34] Sasaki would win a comfortable unanimous decision combining good striking with a strong ground game to beat Kape.[35]

Kape was to fight the ZST flyweight champion Seiichiro Ito at Rizin 15.[36] Kape defeated Ito with a strong left hook to the body, which gave him a KO win in the second round.[37]

At Rizin 18, Kape was scheduled to fight the 14 fight UFC veteran and former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight title challenger Takeya Mizugaki.[38] Kape would earn a dominant second-round KO win, stunning Mizugaki with a powerful uppercut, before landing a right hook to the jaw of Mizugaki. Following the win, Kape called out the Rizin bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi.[39]

Kyoji Horiguchi would in the meantime vacate the belt due to a knee injury. Kape was scheduled to fight Kai Asakura in a rematch, this time with the vacant bantamweight title on the line.[40] The fight was preceded with peculiar trash-talk, as Kape tore a cardboard cutout of Kai Asakura, declaring "You are already dead", and proceeding to chew up the cardboard remains.[41] During the fight itself, Asakura tried to make use of his reach to outfight, while Kape looked to blitz in and land strikes. He would find success in the second round, earning a TKO victory following a barrage of punches.[42] This win would earn him a Fighter of the Year nomination for the Asian MMA awards.[43]

Ultimate Fighting Championship


On March 30, 2020, Kape announced that he had signed a four-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, becoming first Portuguese-Angolan fighter to be signed with the UFC.[44][45]

Kape was expected to make his promotional debut against Rogério Bontorin on August 15, 2020, at UFC 252.[46] The fight was later canceled, as Bontorin suffered an ankle injury.[47]

Kape was scheduled to fight Alexandre Pantoja December 19, 2020, at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal.[48] However, Pantoja pulled out of the fight in early December due to COVID-19 symptoms.[49][50] Kape served as a potential replacement for the UFC Flyweight Championship bout between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno a week earlier at UFC 256.[51] The pairing was rescheduled on February 6, 2021 at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov.[52] Kape lost the fight via unanimous decision.[53]

Kape faced Matheus Nicolau, as a replacement for Tagir Ulanbekov, on March 13, 2021, at UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad.[54] He lost the fight via controversial split decision.[55] 21 out of 21 media members scored the fight for Kape.[56]

Kape faced Ode' Osbourne on August 7, 2021, at UFC 265.[57] At the weigh-ins, Kape weighed in at 129 pounds, three pounds over the flyweight non-title fight limit. The bout proceeded at catchweight and Kape was fined 20% of his purse, which went to Osbourne.[58] He won the fight via knockout in round one after connecting with a flying knee and following it up with punches.[59]

Kape faced Zhalgas Zhumagulov on December 4, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 31.[60] He won the fight via technical knockout in round one.[61]

Kape was scheduled to face Su Mudaerji on April 23, 2022, at UFC Fight Night 205.[62] However, just three days before the event, Kape withdrew for personal reasons and the bout was scrapped.[63]

Kape was scheduled to face Rogério Bontorin on June 11, 2022, at UFC 275.[64] However, the bout was scrapped the day before the event due to Bontorin suffering kidney issues related to cutting weight.[65]

Kape faced David Dvořák on December 17, 2022, at UFC Fight Night 216.[66] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[67]

Kape was scheduled to face Alex Perez on March 25, 2023, at UFC on ESPN 43.[68] However, the pairing was canceled on the day of the event as Perez suffered a seizure backstage.[69][70]

Kape was scheduled to face Deiveson Figueiredo on July 8, 2023, at UFC 290.[71] However, Figueiredo withdrew after he was not medically cleared to compete and the bout as scrapped.[72]

Kape was scheduled to face Kai Kara-France on September 10, 2023, at UFC 293.[73] However Kara-France pulled out of the fight in late August after suffering a concussion during training, and was replaced by promotional newcomer Felipe dos Santos.[74] Kape won the fight via unanimous decision.[75] The win also earned Kape his first Fight of the Night bonus award.[76]

Kape was scheduled for a rematch against Matheus Nicolau on January 13, 2024, at UFC Fight Night 234.[77] At the weigh-ins, Kape weighed in at 129.5 pounds, three and a half pounds over the flyweight non-title fight limit,[78] and the bout was cancelled.[79] The pair was rescheduled for April 27, 2024 at UFC on ESPN 55.[80] However, Kape withdrew for unknown reasons.[81]

Kape is scheduled to face Muhammad Mokaev on July 27, 2024, at UFC 304.[82]

Championships and achievements


Mixed martial arts


Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
25 matches 19 wins 6 losses
By knockout 11 0
By submission 5 2
By decision 3 4
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 19–6 Felipe dos Santos Decision (unanimous) UFC 293 September 10, 2023 3 5:00 Sydney, Australia Fight of the Night.
Win 18–6 David Dvořák Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Strickland December 17, 2022 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 17–6 Zhalgas Zhumagulov TKO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Font vs. Aldo December 4, 2021 1 4:02 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 16–6 Ode' Osbourne KO (flying knee and punches) UFC 265 August 7, 2021 1 4:44 Houston, Texas, United States Catchweight (129 lb) bout; Kape missed weight.
Loss 15–6 Matheus Nicolau Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad March 13, 2021 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 15–5 Alexandre Pantoja Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov February 6, 2021 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Return to Flyweight.
Win 15–4 Kai Asakura TKO (punches) Rizin 20 December 31, 2019 2 0:38 Saitama, Japan Won the vacant Rizin Bantamweight Championship.
Win 14–4 Takeya Mizugaki KO (punch) Rizin 18 August 18, 2019 2 1:36 Nagoya, Japan
Win 13–4 Seiichiro Ito TKO (punch to the body) Rizin 15 April 21, 2019 2 3:59 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 12–4 Ulka Sasaki Decision (unanimous) Rizin 14 December 31, 2018 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 12–3 Yusaku Nakamura Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Rizin 13 September 30, 2018 3 4:27 Saitama, Japan Flyweight bout.
Loss 11–3 Kai Asakura Decision (split) Rizin 10 May 6, 2018 3 5:00 Fukuoka, Japan
Loss 11–2 Kyoji Horiguchi Submission (arm-triangle choke) Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: Final Round December 31, 2017 3 4:27 Saitama, Japan 2017 Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win 11–1 Ian McCall TKO (doctor stoppage) Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: 2nd Round December 29, 2017 1 1:46 Saitama, Japan 2017 Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 10–1 Erson Yamamoto TKO (head kick and punch) Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: Opening Round Part 2 October 15, 2017 1 1:11 Saitama, Japan 2017 Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix First Round.
Win 9–1 Francisco Javier Asprilla TKO (punches) International Pro Combat 7 April 27, 2015 3 4:59 Lisbon, Portugal
Win 8–1 Antoine Gallinaro Submission (armbar) Knock Out Championship 8 April 18, 2015 4 2:26 Cognac, France Won the KOC Bantamweight Championship.
Win 7–1 Miguel Valverde Submission (rear-naked choke) Invictus Pro MMA League 2 December 19, 2014 3 N/A Porto, Portugal Bantamweight debut.
Win 6–1 Daniel Barez Submission (armbar) Ansgar Fighting League 2 November 29, 2014 1 3:25 Madrid, Spain
Win 5–1 Hicham Rachid KO (flying knee to the body) Invictus Pro MMA League 1 July 27, 2014 1 2:42 Porto, Portugal
Loss 4–1 Souksavanh Khampasath Submission (rear-naked choke) Knock Out Championship 7 April 5, 2014 3 3:27 Cognac, France
Win 4–0 Marco Santos Decision (unanimous) Cage Fighters 3 July 28, 2013 3 5:00 Matosinhos, Portugal
Win 3–0 Ricardo Teixeira Submission (rear-naked choke) Cage Fighters: Challengers Norte 2 February 3, 2013 1 2:38 Matosinhos, Portugal
Win 2–0 Renato Ferreira TKO (punches) Cage Fighters: Challengers Norte 1 November 4, 2012 1 0:45 Matosinhos, Portugal
Win 1–0 Artur Gomes TKO (punches) Cage Fighters 2 May 13, 2012 1 4:27 Matosinhos, Portugal Flyweight debut.


Personal life


On 30 January 2024, Manel's manager Ali Abdelaziz announced that the former had converted to Islam.[84]

See also



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  2. ^ "Manel Kape". MMA Core. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Stats | UFC".
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  5. ^ "Knock Out Championship 8". Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  6. ^ "UFC Rankings, Division Rankings, P4P rankings, UFC Champions |". Retrieved 2024-06-18.
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