Alexandre Pantoja and Manel Kape were supposed to meet this month at UFC Fight Night 183, the last UFC fight card of the year, but the fight had to be cancelled after Pantoja pulled out earlier in the month due to undisclosed reasons.
Due to that reason, Kape had to stand in as a possible replacement for Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno for the UFC 256 main event. Now, it has been confined that the fixture between the two has been rescheduled to hold on February 6 and would take place at UFC Fight Island.
Kape had been hoping to make his UFC debut this year having been involved with RIZIN since 2017 where he was an outstanding fighter, winning 4 of his last 5 outings and even claimed the vacant RIZIN bantamweight crown after knocking out Kai Asakura last year’s Christmas Eve. The belt became vacant again the moment Kape signed with the UFC. Kape was booked to initially make his debut at UFC 252 back in August this year, but his opponent, Rogerio Bontorin had to pull out due to an ankle injury.
Pantoja has been with the UFC since 2016 and has won 6 fights with 3 losses. He lost his last match, against Askar Askarov via unanimous decision, although he won the one before that, against Matt Schnell last year, with a knockout. Currently ranked 5th in the UFC Flyweight ranking, Pantoja has defeated Moreno twice and lost to Figueiredo in 2019. Pantoja has fought more fights with 22 wins and 5 losses while Kape has a career record of 15 fights and 4 losses.
UFC 256 would feature Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov as the main event while Cory Sandhagen vs. Frankie Edgar would tag as the co-main event.