Manel Kape is the latest addition to the UFC’s stacked bantamweight division.

According to MMA Fighting, the former RIZIN bantamweight champion has signed a multi-fight deal with the Las Vegas-based promotion following an initial report from Combate.

Kape joins the UFC following an impressive 2019 run which saw him go 3-0 and end the year as the RIZIN bantamweight champion following his TKO win over Kai Asakura at RIZIN 20 in December. He also stopped the likes of Seiichiro Ito and UFC veteran Takeya Mizugaki earlier in the year.

The 26-year-old Angolan — who trains out of AKA Thailand — has compiled a 15-4 professional record with 14 wins coming by way of stoppage.

His addition strengthens an already exciting division which includes the likes of Jose Aldo, Petr Yan, Cody Garbrandt, Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Moraes and of course, current champion Henry Cejudo.

It should be interesting to see how Kape transitions into facing UFC-level opposition.

What do you make of the signing? Who do you want to see Kape fight in his UFC debut?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.