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UFC San Antonio Odds, Pick & Prediction for Alex Perez vs. Manel Kape: Play Both Sides of Flyweight Bout (Saturday, March 25)

UFC San Antonio Odds, Pick & Prediction for Alex Perez vs. Manel Kape: Play Both Sides of Flyweight Bout (Saturday, March 25) article feature image

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC flyweight Manel Kape of Angola

  • One of UFC San Antonio's featured main-card bouts is Alex Perez vs. Manel Kapel.
  • The flyweights are early Fight of the Night contenders with Kape currently a sizable favorite in the matchup.
  • Below, Billy Ward shares two bets with long odds for this can't-miss matchup.

(Editor’s note: Prior to the start of the main card, UFC officials announced the cancellation of Alex Perez vs. Manel Kape due to an undisclosed medical issue for Perez.)

Alex Perez vs. Manel Kape Odds

Perez Odds+165
Kape Odds-195
Over/Under2.5 (+135 / -165)
VenueAT&T Center in San Antonio
Time7:30 p.m. ET
ChannelESPN and ESPN+
Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings

The always-exciting flyweight division is in action at UFC San Antonio on Saturday, featuring UFC top-10 contenders Manel Kape and Alex Perez.

Kape is the former Rizin FC bantamweight champion and looking to build on his three-fight winning streak to get into title contention.

Perez is a former UFC title challenger and is coming off back-to-back losses to former champion Deiveson Figueiredo and No. 1 contender Alexandre Pantoja. Still, he could be a fight or two away from a championship shot himself.

That is, if he can hold off the surging Kape in Saturday’s main-card bout.

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time5:4810:45
Weight (pounds)125 lbs.125 lbs.
Reach (inches)65″68″
Date of birth3/21/199211/14/1993
Sig Strikes Per Min4.674.46
SS Accuracy48%52%
SS Absorbed Per Min3.143.92
SS Defense60%54%
Take Down Avg2.840.56
TD Acc44%28%
TD Def77%69%
Submission Avg1.30.6

Kape is one of the UFC’s more exciting fighters, regardless of division. He brings an interesting mix of aggression and counter-striking on the feet, punctuated with flashy flying knees and spinning attacks.

Kape likes to fight while moving forward, stalking his opponents across the octagon. Rather than go on the offensive himself, he prefers to pressure his opponents into throwing, before responding with heavy strikes of his own.

His UFC losses were both decisions, largely due to his opponents refusing to play his game, which led to a lack of activity from “Starboy.” However, he’s been more aggressive in recent fights with two first-round knockouts during his three-fight winning streak.

.@ManelKape was RELENTLESS in his path to victory 😤

— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 5, 2021

Kape has solid takedown defense, as well as above-average jiu-jitsu. He’s perhaps a bit too comfortable playing off his back, though, and prefers looking for submissions and positional advancement rather than getting up. That’s a high-risk strategy; if he’s unable to find the sweep or sub, he tends to lose minutes from his back.

That habit of Kape’s provides the clearest path to victory for Perez. Perez is an excellent wrestler who averages nearly three takedowns per 15 minutes with solid positional control. I have concerns with his submission defense, though. He was submitted with a guillotine by Figueiredo as a result of making a fairly basic technical mistake – rather than driving forward to relieve the pressure, he sat back up and allowed Figueiredo to cinch a deeper grip around his neck.

Perez is a talented striker as well, and generally more technically sound than Kape. He has similar volume stats and better defense but lacks the massive power of his opponent.

If I’m Perez, my primary goal is to win minutes with my wrestling in the early going and avoid trading with Kape until Kape’s gas tank is depleted. Perez also has excellent leg kicks,

Alex Perez (-137) with the strategical leg kicks beats Formiga via TKO!

Perez is the 11th different fighter in UFC history to win via finish by leg kicks. 💪 🦵

— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) June 6, 2020

Those kicks are another trait that helps him more the longer the fight goes.

Perez is a bit of a slow starter, though, and he tends to get overwhelmed by opponents who “blitz” from the start of the fight. Pantoja demonstrated this perfectly in their early fight after hurting him with strikes and before securing a choke in less than two minutes.

Perez vs. Kape Pick

The combination of Perez’s slow starts and game built around accumulating damage with Kape’s counter-striking sets up the most intriguing dynamic of this fight.

If Kape wins this fight, it’s probably in the early goings from an aggressive approach. The vast majority of his stoppage wins are in the first round or early part of the second. Thus, I’ll be taking advantage of the same game parlay feature on DraftKings and betting Kape to win and under 1.5 round at +200.

There’s enough uncertainty with his approach that I want a hedge on the Perez side, though. There are a few different ways to handle that, largely hinging on whether you plan on being able to bet this one live.

If live betting is an option, look to bet Perez after the first round if he survives. He could end up with far longer odds, and he should get better as the fight progresses. Otherwise, Perez by decision at +550 is a solid pick.

The Picks: Kape & Under 1.5 SGP (+200 at DraftKings) | Perez via Decision (+550 at DraftKings)

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