Manel Kape on Being a New Father, Difference Between Fighting in UFC and Rizin

UFC Vegas 52 will feature Manel Kape taking on Su Mudaerji in what is poised to be fireworks in the flyweight division.

A little over three weeks out from his showdown at UFC Vegas 52 with Su Mudaerji, we caught up with flyweight Manel Kape, and asked “Starboy” how life was treating him.

“I’m a new father, she is just now two months. She’s super happy, it’s a blessing. It’s super, [what] I always wanted,” Kape told us. “I feel good, it gives me good energy. My focus is on my kid and my training of course. My daughter is like me, she sleeps very well. She doesn’t bother me, it’s actually me that bothers her. When she’s asleep, I’ll wake her up because I want to play with her all the time.”

Kape (17-6), of course, is a former RIZIN Fighting Federation champion, who joined the UFC to much fanfare just over a year ago. After faltering early, he’s now won two consecutive bouts. When asked what his sees as the main difference in fighting for RIZIN in Japan versus fighting for the UFC, the live audience comes to mind.

“Probably, the fans. Like here in the UFC, when I was in T-Mobile last time, I was watching Masvidal vs. Colby. In the prelims for the fights, nobody was there. People were just going there for the main event,” he observed. “In Japan, it’s totally different. In the beginning of the fight card, the arenas are already full (20-29 thousand), always full. They stay from the beginning to the end. For me in my vision, it’s a little bit disrespectful for fighters. Sometimes you see better knockouts, submission on the prelims than the main card.”

As for his prediction for UFC Vegas 52 on April 23, outside of a sharing that he is getting a Performance of the Night bonus, Kape suggested “First round. I believe it will be in the first round. I’m in shape, when I feel like this, it’s always going to be in the first or second round. 100% it will be in the first round. My weight cut is amazing already.”

Watch our full interview with UFC Vegas 52’s Manel Kape above. The event takes place Saturday, April 23, 2022 at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.