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Manel Kape ‘really sad’ about Bontorin fight cancellation: ‘I was feeling unbeatable’

Flyweight Manel Kape was expected to take on Rogerio Bontorin at UFC 275.

UFC flyweight Manel Kape had a frustrating cancellation just one day before his next bout. Originally paired up against Rogerio Bontorin at UFC 275, the former Rizin bantamweight champion saw his match fall through when the Brazilian was forced to withdraw due to health issues caused by weight cut.

Frustrated, Kape shared some of his thoughts on the ordeal in a conversation with Combate. Although Manel was even willing to accept the match at catchweight, he had to accept the fact that he was not going to fight on that weekend. The feeling affected ‘Starboy’ deeply, since he felt prepared to put on another impressive performance in Asia.

“It’s really sad for me,” Kape said. “I was very prepared. In the best moment of my career, both physically and mentally. On weigh-in day I was just one pound over the limit. It was a fantastic weight cut. When they told me the news about Rogerio, I was very shaken. I even asked about his weight, because I was willing to fight him at any weight. Bantamweight, featherweight, it didn’t matter to me, I was going to take the fight. Of couse I would take 30% of his purse, but I was going to to fight at any weight.

“When I learned that he had been taken to the hospital, I knew there was nothing I could do. I asked if there were any other fighters available, who didn’t have to cut weight to fight me. I wanted to fight under any circumstance. I was feeling unbeatable. It would’ve been historic to fight in Asia, in front of my biggest fans. It’s sad.”

Currently on a two-fight winning streak, Kape (17-6) scored knockout wins over Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Ode Osbourne in his most recent outings, respectively in December and August 2021. Before that, the 28-year-old had a rough start to his UFC career, dropping decisions to both Matheus Nicolau and Alexandre Pantoja, in March and February of the same year.