Manel Kape expects ‘easy win’ over Alex Perez to put him directly in line for the belt

Manel Kape expects ‘easy win’ over Alex Perez to put him directly in line for the belt

SAN ANTONIO – Manel Kape has his eyes on UFC gold and plans on running through Alex Perez to get there.

Kape (18-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) meets former title challenger Perez (24-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 43 main card at AT&T Center in San Antonio. The main card airs on ESPN following prelims on ESPN+.

With Kape’s momentum and Perez’s inactivity, the confident 29-year-old doesn’t see how he loses the fight.

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“With this win, it’s going to be definitely the fight that’s going to put me in line for the belt because this guy is a former contender for the belt,” Kape told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a pre-fight news conference Wednesday. “I just believe an easy win on Saturday night is going to put me direct to the belt.

“The way he fights, the way I fight, the match, the combinations and everything, I can definitely tell it’s going to be an easy night. … He’s a fighter that’s been a long time not fighting, not active. I saw him a couple of times at the UFC (Performance Institute). His shape is a mess.”

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After he dropped his first two UFC bouts, Kape now is on a three-fight winning streak with two knockouts. The former Rizin bantamweight champion looks to add another belt to his resume by the end of the year.

“2023, I want to be in this straights wins – get the belt this year,” Kape said. “I believe this is going to be my year. I just fought (recently). I’ve been in shape, excited. My goal is just to get this belt. This is my priority right now: Get this belt,. I’ve been dreaming about this all the time.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 43.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie