Manel Kape Out, Alex Perez In Against Matheus Nicolau at UFC Vegas 91

Alex Perez, UFC 271
Alex Perez, UFC 271 official weigh-in Credit: Dave Noseworthy/Cageside Press

It seems like Manel Kape and Matheus Nicolau will never get their rematch.

Already having fallen through last minute earlier this year when Kape missed weight by 3.5lbs for a Fight Night event on January 13, the bout was rescheduled to headline the UFC’s April 27, 2024 event.

That would be UFC Vegas 91. However that too is now off, with Kape withdrawing from the fight due to undisclosed reasons. Alex Perez now steps into the main event fight in place of Kape.

Promotion officials announced the news on Tuesday.

Manel Kape, a former RIZIN bantamweight champ, has been a contender at flyweight since his arrival in the UFC, but has struggled with fight cancellations as well as weight. He first met Nicolau in March of 2021, losing to the Brazilian via split decision.

Whether the UFC circles back to the pairing down the road remains to be seen. But for now, Nicolau gets a former UFC title challenger in Alex Perez instead.

Perez was last seen in action earlier this month, losing a unanimous decision against another prospect in Muhammad Mokaev. The setback extended the losing streak of Perez to three straight, dating back to his failed title shot against then-champ Deiveson Figueiredo in November 2020.

Nicolau, meanwhile, has not fought since an April 2023 loss to Brandon Royval.

The UFC Vegas 91 card currently breaks down as follows:

  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Alex Perez
  • Ryan Spann vs. Bogdan Guskov
  • Joel Álvarez vs. Mateusz Rębecki
  • Tim Means vs. Uroš Medić
  • Rani Yahya vs. Victor Henry
  • Don’Tale Mayes vs. Caio Machado
  • Gabriel Benítez vs. Maheshate Hayisaer
  • Marnic Mann vs. Ketlen Souza
  • Ivana Petrović vs. Liang Na
  • Gabriel Green vs. James Llontop
  • Austen Lane vs. Jhonata Diniz
  • Ariane Lipski vs. Karine Silva
  • Austin Hubbard vs. Michal Figlak
  • Jonathan Pearce vs. David Onama