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Former RIZIN Bantamweight champion Manel Kape makes UFC debut against Alexandre Pantoja on Dec. 19

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Former RIZIN Bantamweight champion, Manel Kape, will finally get to make his long-awaited Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut. According to MMA Junkie, Kape will make the drop down to the Flyweight division to take on Alexandre Pantoja on Dec. 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Winner of three straight — all knockouts — Kape has been fighting under the RIZIN banner since 2017, earning a record of 6-3 along the way. “Prodigio” even earned a win over former UFC title contender, Ian McCall, in the second round of the promotion’s Bantamweight Grand Prix. Kape was set to make his debut at UFC 252 against Rogerio Bontorin but an ankle injury forced him out of action.

Pantoja, meanwhile, is currently ranked No. 5 on the official UFC rankings and is coming off a tough loss to Askar Askarov at UFC Fight Island 2 this past July. The defeat was his second in his previous three outings.

The ESPN+-streamed event will be headlined by a pivotal Welterweight showdown between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards, while Marlon Moraes takes on Rob Font in the co-main event.

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