Manel Kape, a rising flyweight contender on the UFC roster, recently fought Felipe dos Santos at UFC 293, earning the ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. The highlight of UFC 293’s pre-fight press conference was Kape’s tussle with Israel Adesanya.
However, Kape’s post-fight speech generated controversy due to his use of homophobic language when ranting against Kai Kara-France. Notably, Kape was the second fighter to use such a slur during UFC 293, following Charles Radtke’s use of the same word after defeating Mike “Blood Diamond” Mathetha in the prelims.
Manel Kape apologizes for homophobic remarks
Manel Kape apologized for using homophobic remarks in his post-fight speech. Kape was speaking at the media interview after the win over Felipe Dos Santos. He clarified that the word came out of his mouth due to the emotions running high after the win.
Kape’s fight against Felipe dos Santos was initially expected to be straightforward, but the Brazilian youngster had other plans. Displaying remarkable resilience, the Brazilian fighter endured a unanimous decision loss and even managed to hurt Kape with his reach advantage during the stand-up exchanges.
After the victory, Kape initiated a verbal assault on Kai Kara-France, who was seated cage side. ‘Don’t Blink’ responded with two middle fingers. It was evident that Kape desired a bout with a top-ranked contender but became frustrated as multiple fighters withdrew from fights against him throughout 2023. In total, Kape had three opponents pull out of scheduled bouts during that year.
The former bantamweight champion at Rizin, entered the UFC with high expectations but faced close decision losses in his first two bouts. Despite these initial setbacks, he remained undeterred and is currently on a four-fight winning streak.
Manel Kape and Kai Kara-France’s feud explained
The feud between Kai and Manel began when Kape withdrew from their scheduled flyweight bout at UFC 293, just two weeks before the fight. Notably, Kape had previously experienced opponents Deiveson Figueredo and Alex Perez withdrawing, making Kara-France the third consecutive ranked fighter to withdraw from a bout with him.
The feud between Kai Kara-France and Manel Kape reached its climax during the UFC 293 pre-fight press conference when Kape threw water bottles at Kara-France, leading to a confrontation with Israel Adesanya on stage. Kape’s post-fight speech also targeted City Kickboxing, Kara-France’s gym, where the Angolan flyweight criticized the entire CKB team.
The feud between Kape and Kara-France has the potential to escalate further, especially since Kape’s teammate at Extreme Couture, Sean Strickland, defeated Israel Adesanya to claim the middleweight title at UFC 293. During his post-fight speech, Kape vowed to face Kara-France at CKB if the Kiwi withdraws from a bout again. Alexandre Pantoja is the current champion at flyweight after defeating Brandon Moreno at UFC 290. Brandon Royval followed by Amir Albazi are the favorites to contend for the title next.
What do you think of Manel Kape’s chances against Kai Kara-France? Does he have what it takes to be a champion? Comment below!