UFC Vegas 66: Manel Kape Finds His Groove, Takes Decision Over David Dvorak

David Dvorak and Manel Kape, UFC Vegas 66
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: (R-L) Manel Kape of Angola punches David Dvorak of the Czech Republic in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Flyweight action arrived early on the UFC Vegas 66 card, as the #12-ranked Manel Kape took on #9-ranked David Dvorak — both of whom brought finishing power to the fight.

Despite that power, the opening minutes of the fight were a slog, testing the patience of both men.

The action opened up with Kape slowly pressing forward, keeping Dvorak on the outside. Dvorak fired a leg kick early, without too much behind it. Kape fanned on a kick of his own while both fighters looked to find their range. A decent exchange finally arrived almost midway through the round; Dvorak landed a leg kick; Kape a right hand. Moments later, Kape fired a spinning kick up high, but Dvorak timed it, landing a takedown.

Initially in side control, Dvorak wound up in guard, while Kape looked to throw up submissions — a couple of arm-bar attempts — from bottom. In a round with little action, Dvoraki’s takedown and top time were difference makers, but Kape locked up a kimura and rolled with it ahead of the buzzer, finishing the round on top while wrenching on the limb.

After the strong finish to round one, Kape went back to holding center with Dvorak on the outside to start round two. Again, there was a lot of feeling out early, more movement than landing, with both men falling short. Two minutes in, they came together in a quick exchange; Dvorak then landed a right hand. Kape showed some stance switches, and seemed to be timing a knee, pulling up short once or twice. The next time Kape fired it, it landed; a hook moments later had Dvorak hurt as he covered up. Kape moved in, looking for the finish; Dvorak went down to his back, but was moving and covering up enough to stave off a finish.

Kape wisely backed off with just over a minute in the frame. He then ripped the body as Dvorak backed up. He took a knee to the body, and a right over the top. Kape had Dvorak trapped on the fence, lighting him up. But Dvorak timed a Kape spinning elbow, taking him down and taking the back.

Round three had Kape likely ahead on the scorecards, with a 10-8 a distinct possibility in round two. Dvorak was in need of something explosive, but was likely still compromised from the second. Kape, in comparison, was measured in his attacks. Something of a phantom eye poke (Kape reacted, but Dvorak seemed to have grazed him at best) halted the action before they got back to work for the final two minutes. Kape had his hands low, and showed a bit of fancy footwork and a few feints, then had to fend off a takedown attempt.

A bit more showboating by Kape followed, as he kept his hands behind his back for a moment. He nearly paid for it, as Dvorak still had a bit of fight left in him. Try as he might, however, Dvorak couldn’t connect with anything to turn the tide.

Not surprisingly, Kape took the win on the scorecards for his third consecutive victory.

Official Result: Manel Kape def. David Dvorak by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)