Manel Kape: Flyweight champ Alexandre Pantoja’s consistency will beat Brandon Royval at UFC 296

Manel Kape sees Alexandre Pantoja beating Brandon Royval again.

Flyweight champion Pantoja (26-5 MMA, 10-3 UFC) runs things back with Royval (15-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the UFC 296 co-headliner on Dec. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which streams on pay-per-view following prelims expected on ESPN and ESPN+.

In their first fight in August 2021, Pantoja submitted Royval by second-round rear-naked choke. Kape, who’s UFC debut loss came to Pantoja, thinks Royval has an unorthodox fighting style which will cost him.

“Pantoja, definitely,” Kape said on the “Believe You Me” podcast. “No doubt. Pantoja’s more consistent than him, but Brandon Royval is unpredictable. This guy is not too technical, but he throws some weird stuff.

“Yes, he’s wild. I prefer a fight with someone that know how to fight than someone that don’t know how to fight. When I look at Brandon Royval, I see someone that doesn’t know how to fight.”

Kape (19-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) rematches Matheus Nicolau at a UFC Fight Night event on Jan. 13 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Nicolau edged out Kape in March 2021, and Kape is excited to rectify that wrong. Since losing to Pantoja and Nicolau back-to-back, Kape has won four straight.

“It’s a good fight to show that I won the first fight we had,” Kape said. “Clear. Right now I’m just a different fighter, and I’ve been showing that I’m a different level than most of the flyweight division. So, I’m going to be very motivated for this fight. We have some history so, it’s good to me.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie