Manel Kape won’t wait forever, but he hopes Kai Kara-France will accept an offer to fight him at UFC 296 in December.
When their UFC 293 matchup was scrapped due to Kara-France’s concussion in training, Kape went on to defeat newcomer Felipe dos Santos in a thrilling three-round war. Kape later revealed a UFC offer to reschedule the fight with Kara-France. He was quick to accept, but he claimed the same couldn’t be said for the one-time interim title challenger.
“I still don’t hear anything from their part,” Kape told MMA Fighting. “Kai Kara is still thinking about signing the contract. All this energy that was there. It was fake energy. He just don’t want to be there. He sees the levels. He really sees the levels with fighting.
“If you want someone that you are 100 percent sure that you’re going to win, you’re not going to blink and accept to fight me. I’m already waiting like two weeks for him to say yes.”
Kape took aim at Kara-France several times in the days before UFC 293, with a particularly fiery exchange during the pre-fight press conference. He called out Kara-France again following his win over dos Santos in Australia.
The problem is, Kape believes Kara-France wants no part of him.
“He’s just a scared little boy,” he said about Kara-France. “It’s my opinion about him. He’s a scared little boy. You can see when I spoke with him after my fight when I was talking with him, you can really see his body language. He was not confident. He knows what is coming for him. He knows the difference of levels, and I saw the video, and I can see this body language. He was not confident. He was just showing his ugly tongue like he does all the time.
“This is the fight that makes sense. People are going to watch, people are going to buy the pay-per-view. It’s good for him, too, and it’s good for me. It’s good to make money. Why he won’t accept? The only answer is he’s scared. He knows he’s going to lose. He’s going to be on a three-fight losing streak. They want to pick an easy fight to get his confidence back.”
If he doesn’t hear back soon from Kara-France, Kape expects he’ll have to shift his attention to a different opponent so he can compete one more time before the end of the year.
Kape is currently in Africa, but he plans to return to Las Vegas soon to discuss the situation with his manager. He already has an alternative opponent in mind if Kara-France continues to balk.
“This was supposed to be a good fight with me and Kai Kara, but let’s see because all the fights are booked already, the top fights,” Kape said. “[Alexandre] Pantoja against Brandon Royval is booked. I don’t know about Brandon Moreno. This can be a fight that interests me a lot.
“I don’t know if Brandon Moreno is ready to fight this year, but if Kai Kara don’t want to fight, we’re going to have to move on.”
Moreno most recently competed in July, when he lost the flyweight title to Alexandre Pantoja in a close decision. As of now, he doesn’t have a fight coming up.
The way Kape sees it, because a lot of the other top flyweights are already booked, or have previously backed out of fights against him, Moreno is a good choice.
“We have to think of this option,” Kape said. “It really excites me, and it will make me to come back to train and put on the hard work all the time.”
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