Manel Kape biography: 13 things about UFC fighter born in Luanda, Angola

full name: Manuel Pedro Gomes
fight name: Starboy
residence: Phuket, Thailand
height: 5’5″
weight division: flyweight
current promotion: UFC
pro MMA record: 18-6


Manel Kape is an Angolan professional mixed martial artist nicknamed Starboy. He is a citizen of both Angola and Portugal.

Kape is 5’5″ tall. He started competing as a flyweight in 2012, became a bantamweight from 2014 to 2019 and return to flyweight in 2021.

Currently, Kape trains at AKA Thailand in Phuket, Thailand and is signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. He was born in Luanda, Angola. He lived in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
  2. On May 13, 2012, he made his professional MMA debut at “Cage Fighters 2” in Matosinhos, Portugal where he defeated Artur Gomes via technical knockout. On November 4, 2012, he defeated Renato Ferreira via technical knockout at “Cage Fighters: Challengers Norte 1” in Matosinhos.
  3. In 2013, he submitted Ricardo Teixeira and defeated Marco Santos via unanimous decision both in Matosinhos.
  4. In 2014, he lost to Souksavanh Khampasath in Cognac, France before defeating Hicham Rachid in Porto, Portugal, Daniel Barez in Madrid, Spain and Miguel Valverde in Porto. In the same year, Julia Kukharchuk became his coach.
  5. On April 18, 2015, he became the Knock Out Championship Bantamweight Champion by submitting Antoine Gallinaro in Cognac. On April 27, 2015, he defeated Francisco Javier Asprilla via technical knockout at “International Pro Combat 7” in Lisbon, Portugal.
  6. He was supposed to fight Damien Rooney on September 19, 2015, João Elias on November 28, 2015 and Moktar Benkaci on April 2, 2016 but the bouts were cancelled.
  7. On October 3, 2017, he trained on the beach in Ilha De Luanda, Salga, Luanda with Edivaldo Guebuza. At the 2017 Rizin Bantamweight Grand-Prix in Saitama, Japan, he defeated Erson Yamamoto in the first round on October 15, 2017 and Ian McCall in the quarterfinal on December 29, 2017 but he lost to Kyoji Horiguchi in the semifinal on December 31, 2017.
  8. On May 6, 2018, he lost to Kai Asakura via split decision at “Rizin 10” in Fukuoka, Japan. On September 30, 2018, he defeated Yusaku Nakamura via technical submission at “Rizin 13” in Saitama. On December 31, 2018, he lost to Ulka Sasaki via unanimous decision at “Rizin 14” in Saitama.
  9. He defeated Seiichiro Ito via technical knockout at “Rizin 15” in Yokohama, Japan on April 21, 2019 and knocked out Takeya Mitzugaki at “Rizin 18” in Nagoya, Japan on August 18, 2019. On December 31, 2019, he became the Rizin Bantamweight Champion by defeating Kai Asakura via technical knockout at “Rizin 20” in Saitama.
  10. On January 19, 2020, he was with Kukharchuk at Banyan Tree Bangkok in Bangkok, Thailand. On March 18, 2020, he was with Marcio Cesar Gracinha at The Nai Harn in Phuket.
  11. On February 6, 2021, he made his UFC debut at “UFC Vegas 18” in Enterprise, Nevada where he lost to Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision. On March 13, 2021, he lost to Matheus Nicolau via split decision at “UFC Vegas 21” in Enterprise. On August 7, 2021, he knocked out Ode’ Osbourne at “UFC 265” in Houston, Texas, USA. On December 4, 2021, he defeated Zhalgas Zhumalgov via technical knockout at “UFC Vegas 44” in Enterprise.
  12. In February 2022, Kukharchuk gave birth to their daughter Amy Kape. On December 17, 2022, he defeated David Dvořák via unanimous decision at “UFC Vegas 66” in Enterprise, which improved his professional MMA record to 18 wins and 6 losses.
  13. He was 29 years old when Alex Perez withdrew from their bout on March 25, 2023 at “UFC on ESPN 43” in San Antonio, Texas due to a medical issue.

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