UFC 293 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Manel Kape vs. Felipe dos Santos: Newcomer Poised for Upset? (Saturday, September 9)

UFC 293 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Manel Kape vs. Felipe dos Santos: Newcomer Poised for Upset? (Saturday, September 9) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC flyweights Manel Kape of Angola and Felipe dos Santos of Brazil

Manel Kape vs. Felipe dos Santos Odds

Kape Odds
dos Santos Odds
2.5 rounds (+140 / -180)
Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia
Start Time
10:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday afternoon and via FanDuel

We've got a big favorite against a late replacement with flyweights Manel Kape vs. Felipe dos Santos on the UFC 293 main card.

Kape looks for his fourth straight victory while building upon his status as the UFC's No. 10-ranked contender when he meets Contender Series vet dos Santos, who steps in for Kai Kara-France.

The Brazilian sports an undefeated record and now has a nothing-to-lose opportunity against a highly ranked 125-pounder.

Let's preview Kape vs. dos Santos at UFC 293 on Saturday.

Tale of the Tape

Kapedos Santos
Avg. Fight Time10:45n/a
Weight126 pounds125.4 pounds
Reach (inches)68"70"
Date of birth11/14/19939/11/2000
Sig Strikes Per Minute4.460.00
SS Accuracy52%0%
SS Absorbed Per Minute3.920.00
SS Defense54%0%
Take Down Average0.560.00
TD Acc28%0%
TD Def69%0%
Submission Average0.60.0

Kape is one of the most exciting flyweights on the UFC roster but has seen five of his past six scheduled bookings in the past two years fall through.

"Starboy" was initially supposed to face Kai Kara-France on Saturday but will instead draw a short-notice debutant in Felipe dos Santos, a fiery 22-year-old sporting the familiar bleach blond hair from the Brazilian Chute Box camp.

Dos Santos wouldn't be the first UFC newcomer from Chute Box to pull off a significant upset this year. Elves Brener cashed in his first two UFC bouts in February and July as a +400 to +500 underdog marketwide in either bout.

Additionally, teammate Allan Nascimento fought to a split decision as a +300 underdog at UFC 267 in 2021 and cashed as a +180 underdog last year.

And Daniel "Willycat" Santos has become one of the best action fighters at bantamweight in a short period.

The Chute Box fighters continually overperform – and thrill – at the UFC level. All exhibit incredible aggression, output and recoverability, alongside their striking hair color.

Compared to his teammates, dos Santos may be a bit too green for the UFC level – and he's likely at a strength disadvantage compared to Kape, an elite athlete seven years his senior and in his physical prime.

Anyone else notice Manel Kape practicing the switch stance flying knee during his warm up then perfectly executing it during the fight minutes later? pic.twitter.com/A5VtlQ9HXa

— MMA Gone Wild🥋 (@mmagonewild) August 9, 2021

The primary issue with Kape's fighting style is a lack of output. He has speedy hands and powerful punches but can often get caught staring at his opponents for long stretches, looking for the perfect opportunity to counter.

Dos Santos might be able to force him to fight at a higher pace than Kape is accustomed to – which could lead to dos Santos getting quickly clipped and finished or potentially forcing Kape into an uncomfortable pace with which he gasses out down the stretch.

Kape vs. dos Santos Pick

Generally, I'm happy to take shots against Kape with fighters who can push a pace, but I'm hesitant with dos Santos due to the short-notice nature and severe jump in competition.

If dos Santos can push a pace for 15 minutes and survive Kape's wicked combinations, I'd expect a close and competitive decision, which may go his way as a big underdog.

From a pre-fight perspective, I don't project value on either side, the total, or any winning method props.

However, I'd keep an eye on the live markets and consider an entry on the pace-pushing dos Santos after Round 1 – likely at an even juicier number than his pre-fight moneyline.

The Pick: Felipe dos Santos live after Round 1

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