Manel Kape’s recent conversion to Islam has ignited a storm on the internet, diverging attention from his UFC Vegas 84 bout dismissal and prior controversial remarks.
In a surprising turn of events, 30-year-old flyweight Manel Kape was forced to withdraw from his UFC Vegas 84 match after weighing in above the non-title flyweight limit. He was scheduled to face Matheus Nicolau again in a rematch from 2021.
The cancellation of the first PPV event in 2024 startled fans. A few hours later, Kape used his social media to discuss the incident and provide an explanation for his weight of 129.5 pounds, which was 3.5 pounds above the weight limit.
According to Kape, Nicolau declined to compete in the match even when offered a share of his purse.
The combatant has now gained widespread attention for yet another reason. He appeared alongside Ali Abdelaziz in a recent video from the latter’s Instagram stories. The caption states that Kape is converted to Islam.
Manel Kape had previously been well-known for reasons unrelated to his matches. At UFC 293 he defeated his opponent Felip dos Santos and won. But his press conference after the match was the buzz of the town, not his performance. While calling out rival flyweight Kai Kara France, Kape used a gay slur.
Aside from that, he made fun of Israel Adesanya at the press conference by making subtle jabs at his championship defeat.
Now, his most recent development with Ali Abdelaziz has sparked a diverse range of reactions within the MMA community. While some fans have labeled the increasing number of Islamic conversions among combatants as a ‘new trend,’ others have questioned the timing of Kape’s conversion.
Notably, a significant portion of the fanbase has embraced Kape’s decision, expressing support for his newfound faith and even declaring themselves as avid fans of the flyweight. However, not all reactions have been positive.
Some of the comments are as follows:
“Hanging out with Ali is a major L tho”
“Maybe Ramadan will help him make weight”
“Ali is doing this side job alongside managing fighters ?”
Some fans have criticized Ali Abdelaziz of Dominant MMA Management, who oversees many Islamic combatants from the American Kickboxing Academy. The criticism stems from Abdelaziz’s perceived involvement in his competitors’ conversions.