UFC Signs RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape

Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN Fighting Federation’s bantamweight champion Manel Kape will exit the promotion, signing a deal with UFC. Originally reported by Combate, Kape’s gym AKA Thailand announced Monday he signed a four-fight deal.

Kape becomes the second RIZIN champion to recently be signed by UFC, with the promotion’s former light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka inking a deal in January.

Kape last fought on New Year’s Eve on RIZIN 20. He main evented the promotion’s top annual event, stopping Kai Asakura to win the vacant bantamweight belt. The belt was formerly held by Kyoji Horiguchi, who vacated his belt due to injury.

Horiguchi fought Kape back in 2017, defeating him in round three. While fighting for RIZIN, Kape had a few fights against former UFC fighters. In 2018, Kape lost to Ulka Sasaki via decision. His most notable win comes against Ian McCall in 2017, winning in under two minutes due to a cut.

While fighting for RIZIN, Kape racked up a 6-3 record, currently on a three-fight winning streak.

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