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Alex Perez Steps in for Manel Kape, Meets Matheus Nicolau at UFC on ESPN 55

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UFC
on ESPN 55 has a new flyweight main event.

The promotion announced on Tuesday that Alex Perez
will replace Manel Kape
and lock horns with Matheus
Nicolau at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on April 27. A reason for
Kape’s exit from the card was not given. Perez had been slated to
face Tagir
Ulanbekov on June 15 before the new pairing was announced.

A former title challenger at 125 pounds, Perez has lost his last
three Octagon appearances. Most recently, the Team Oyama product
dropped a unanimous verdict to Muhammad
Mokaev at UFC Fight Night 238 on March 2. The Dana White’s
Contender Series alum is 6-4 during his promotional tenure.

Nicolau, meanwhile, had a six-bout winning streak snapped in his
last outing, when he suffered a first-round KO defeat to Brandon
Royval at UFC on ESPN 44 in April 2023. Nicolau’s ledger
includes a split-decision triumph over Kape at UFC Fight Night 187
in March 2021.

Kape was initially scheduled to rematch Nicolau on Jan. 13, but the
bout was canceled on account of the Rizin veteran missing weight.
“Starboy” has dealt with multiple cancellations during his UFC
tenure, though some of those were not related to him.

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