Manel Kape won’t be competing this weekend.
The former RIZIN Bantamweight Champion has been withdrawn from his fight against Sumudaerji, per an announcement made Thursday.
The fight was scheduled for April 23rd at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Kape claims that his withdrawal from the card is due to a drug test flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. In a Twitter post that has since been deleted, Kape claimed he tested positive for DHCMT Turinabol M3 metabolites.
“I was shocked yesterday afternoon to receive a call from the UFC, telling me that the sample I provided to USADA on April 9th returned with a positive finding of 17 picograms per ml of the long term metabolite of DHCMT, called M3,” he said. “I will start by stating unequivocally that I did not intentionally use DHCMT nor any other prohibited substance for that matter. I have zero idea how this got in my system.”
It has not been confirmed by USADA that a test from Kape has been flagged. The testing agency does not disclose the result of flagged tests until sanctions are decided for fighters.
Due to the short-notice nature of this change, Sumudaerji won’t get a new opponent for Saturday’s UFC card.
Both fighters entered the weekend on winning streaks at flyweight. Kape had finished two consecutive fights last year, defeating Ode Osbourne and Zhalgas Zhumagulov.
Saturday’s UFC card is now down to 12 fights in total. Strawweights Amanda Lemos and Jessica Andrade are currently scheduled to headline the card.