Israel Adesanya and Manel Kape won’t be throwing punches at each other at UFC 293, but boy, did sparks fly at the pre-fight press conference down under in Australia!
This fiery showdown ignited when Manel Kape got grilled about his last-minute showdown with Felipe dos Santos. See, this whole matchup came about because the local hero, Kai Kara-France, had to bow out due to a gnarly concussion he picked up in training camp. It was a tough break for the Kiwi.
Now, even though Kara-France wasn’t going to fight, he showed up to rally behind his City Kickboxing comrades. And guess what? Kape couldn’t help but spot him right there, just a stone’s throw away.
Kape, no stranger to drama, couldn’t resist laying into Kara-France. He hollered, “You, yeah, you! Sitting right there, you’re in the hot seat, because this kid’s going to pay. Three weeks, man, three weeks you had to tango with me, and you chickened out. Look at you, all brave now that you’re here.”
While Kara-France stayed glued to his chair, Israel Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champ, leaped to his feet, and only heavyweight bruiser Tai Tuivasa stuck in the middle.
Adesanya unleashed a tirade of words at Kape, and the tension was so thick you could’ve sliced it with a machete. Security rushed in to make sure they didn’t start a cage match right there on stage.
In the midst of this chaos, Tuivasa, of all people, was the chill dude trying to bring back some sanity. He grinned through the whole crazy scene. But the real surprise? Adesanya’s next opponent, Sean Strickland, stepped up as the voice of reason.
Strickland, with a smirk, told Israel Adesanya, “Hey, buddy, that ain’t the fight tonight. Leave the little man alone. I’m the supposed jerk here, Izzy, not you.”
Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, and the presser rolled on. But Manel Kape couldn’t resist poking the bear once more when asked about a future showdown with Kara-France.
“I’m telling you, my next fight, it’s all about the title. But after that, I got my sights set on Kai Kara-France,” Kape declared. “I want that dude bad. You ran from me, Kai. Your coach said champions fight through injuries, man. What happened to that spirit? That’s the million-dollar question.”
Before facing off with Dos Santos, Kape had one final parting shot for Kara-France, flipping him the bird as he sauntered toward his opponent on the stage. Now, that’s what I call a heated exchange!