RIZIN Champion Manel Kape to face Rogerio Bontorin at UFC 252

Manel Kape
Manel Kape def. Seiichiro Ito Credit: RIZIN FF

RIZIN Bantamweight champion Manel Kape will make his highly-anticipated UFC debut at UFC 252 against Brazil’s Rogerio Bontorin.

According to a report from Brazilian outlet Combate, RIZIN bantamweight champion Manel Kape will make his UFC debut against Rogerio Bontorin at UFC 252. The bout will take place at flyweight (125lbs).

Kape (15-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has broke out in the last year with three consecutive knockout wins at RIZIN 15, 18 and 20 respectively. In this most recent outing at RIZIN 20, Kape avenged a previous split decision loss to Kai Asakura to win the vacant RIZIN bantamweight title via second round TKO in their rematch. Kape was also the last man to face UFC veteran Takeya Mizugaki. That bout ended with Kape winning by second-round knockout. The 26-year-old has fought former UFC contenders Ian McCall, Kyoji Horiguchi and Ulka Sasaki in his three-year RIZIN tenure. Kape leaves the RIZIN promotion with a 6-3 record and the promotion’s bantamweight title. He will now drop back down to 125-pounds for this match-up after competing in RIZIN at 128-134 pounds.

Bonorin (16-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is looking to bounce back from his first UFC loss and only second loss as a professional as he heads into the match-up with Kape. Bonorin entered the promotion after impressing on the Brazilian Contender Series scoring a second-round submission win over Gustavo Gabriel. Bontorin then scored two wins in 2019, defeating Magomed Bibulatov and Raulian Paiva to extend this winning streak to four. However, he suffered his first UFC setback in February with a decision loss to Ray Borg. The 28-year-old has finished 14 of his 16 wins, 11 of which coming via submission.

UFC 252 will be headlined by the trilogy contest between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier for the UFC’s heavyweight title. The event will take place on August 15, 2020 though the venue has not yet been announced.

UFC 252 Card:

  • Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier III
  • Junior dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
  • Livia Renata Souza vs. Ashley Yoder
  • Felixe Herrig vs. Virna Jandiroba
  • Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba II
  • Manel Kape vs. Rogerio Bontorin


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