Manel Kape out of UFC Fight Night 241 headliner vs. Matheus Nicolau, Alex Perez steps in as replacement

Manel Kape’s 2024 return to the octagon has been delayed again.

The UFC flyweight contender is out of his bout against Matheus Nicolau, which was to serve as the headliner of a UFC Fight Night event on April 27 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Now, veteran Alex Perez has been pulled from a scheduled matchup of his own to step in as a replacement to face Nicolau.

The news was announced by the promotion on Tuesday and later independently confirmed by MMA Junkie.

Kape (19-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Nicolau (19-4-1 MMA, 7-2) were originally supposed to rematch in January, but the fight was scrapped after Kape missed weight by 3.5 pounds. Kape has had many fight cancellations in the last couple of years, leaving him to fight only once in 2022 and once more in 2023.

Nicolau was the last fighter to defeat Kape, winning a split decision in March 2021. He looks to rebound from a loss to former title challenger Brandon Royval, which snapped the 31-year-old’s six-fight winning streak.

Replacing Kape, Perez (24-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is also looking to bounce back from defeat. “Turbo” was scheduled to face Tagir Ulanbekov on June 15 before the shift to facing Nicolau. The former UFC title challenger is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Muhammad Mokaev in March. He’s currently on a three-fight losing streak, with his last win coming in 2020.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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