UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Volkov- Alexandre Pantoja vs Manel Kape: Prediction and Analysis

Published 02/05/2021, 6:01 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 19: (L-R) Alexandre Pantoja of Brazil punches Askar Askarov of Russia in their flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 19, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC flyweight, Alexandre Pantoja, takes on newcomer, Manel Kape, on the main card for Fight Night: Overeem vs Volkov. The 125-pound division is thriving as of late, and the inclusion of both men on the card is a welcome addition. Not to mention, fans and pundits are circling the aforementioned scrap to be a front runner for ‘Fight of the Night’.

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Deiveson Figueiredo has held a stranglehold over the division, and many believe the winner of this fight could be a candidate. While casual fans may not know Manel Kape, he’s been a highly-touted prospect long before his arrival in the promotion. Fans and analysts are on the lookout for the next big challenge that Deus de Guerra’ will have to overcome; Pantoja vs Kape may well be the answer.

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UFC flyweights: Alexandre Pantoja vs Manel Kape

‘The Cannibal’ has been an elite flyweight for a meaningful period. However, he’s suffered some close defeats recently. Pantoja is coming off a unanimous decision defeat to Askar Askarov from his outing back in July 2020. Chiefly, he also has a loss to current champion Deiveson Figueiredo sandwiched in between some impressive wins.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 19: (L-R) Askar Askarov of Russia punches Alexandre Pantoja of Brazil in their flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 19, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Alexandre Pantoja is a lethal finisher and doesn’t let up once he senses that the finish is within sight. Moreover, he’s able to maintain his pace throughout the fight duration, which leads him to dish out his offense as per his discretion. Studying tape on Manel Kape would have indicated to Pantoja that he’s facing an equally powerful striker.

The 15-4 fighter in Kape hailing from Angola is undefeated in his last three fights, where he earned consecutive T/KO wins. Manel Kape has been a staple of Rizin FF for a meaningful period of time and faced some stiff competition. He’s laced up the gloves against 125-pound greats such as Ian McCall and Kyoji Horiguchi with mixed results.

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Bursting into the pocket has never been a problem for the 5’6’’ scrappy flyweight who is solid no matter where the fight goes. ‘Prodigio’ will look to impose his strength inside the octagon for the first time and wait to see its result. There are many intangibles heading into the fight, making it a virtual 50/50 split.

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Prediction: Alexandre Pantoja to claim a unanimous decision victory

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Darryl Pinto

1607 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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