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Manel Kape out, Matheus Nicolau vs. Alex Perez announced as new UFC Vegas 91 headliner


Manel Kape’s rise to UFC flyweight title contention will once again have to wait.

UFC announced Tuesday that Kape is out of his rescheduled UFC Vegas 91 main event against Matheus Nicolau. In his stead, Nicolau is now set to face one-time title challenger Alex Perez in a new five-round main event.

The news marks the second time Kape vs. Nicolau has fallen through. The matchup was originally booked for Jan. 13 at UFC Vegas 84, but was cancelled after Kape missed weight by three and a half pounds the day prior to the event.

UFC Vegas 91 takes place April 27 at the UFC APEX.

Nicolau (19-3-1) hopes to rebound from his recent first-round knockout loss to Brandon Royval against replacement foe Perez. The 31-year-old Brazilian is MMA Fighting’s No. 11 ranked flyweight in the world and holds notable wins over Kape, Tim Elliott, and John Moraga.

Perez (24-8) jumps back into the fray after suffering his third consecutive defeat in a unanimous decision against Muhammad Mokaev in March. A 32-year-old native of California, Perez is MMA Fighting’s No. 12 ranked flyweight. He also suffered recent first-round stoppage losses to now-champion Alexandre Pantoja and ex-champ Deiveson Figueiredo.


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