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'Unbelievable stuff': Manel Kape EATS opponent's cardboard cutout at weigh-in... before winning RIZIN title showdown (VIDEO)

'Unbelievable stuff': Manel Kape EATS opponent's cardboard cutout at weigh-in... before winning RIZIN title showdown (VIDEO)
Bantamweight Manel Kape has signposted himself as a fighter to watch in 2020 after scything through heavy favorite Kai Asukura to claim the RIZIN 135lb title - a day after he ATE his opponent's poster at the weigh-ins.

Angolan-born Kape, who lost a close split decision to Asakura in their first meeting 18 months ago, made certain that there wouldn't be a repeat result as he claimed the vacant RIZIN bantamweight title from the Japanese standout with a fierce second-round stoppage.

He didn't have it all his own way, however. Asakura found success in the early exchanges as he used his reach advantage to flummox the ultra-aggressive Kape but a spinning backfist thrown by the African fighter towards the end of the round hit its target, serving as a reminder to Asakura of the power contained within each of Kape's strikes.

It was the precursor to the end. Kape sent Asakura to the canvas twice in quick succession in the opening exchanges of the second round, not letting the Japanese fighter regain any of his own momentum before raining down strikes which prompted the referee to call off the bout just 38 seconds into the second frame.

Afterwards, Kape left the ring to celebrate with former opponent Kyoji Horiguchi, the man Asakura defeated in a stunning upset in August. 

Horiguchi was slated to fight Asakura, this time for the title, but an injury he suffered in the lead-in forced him to withdraw and relinquish the title.

Kape's win came 24 hours after he caused a storm on social media when he tore a cardboard cutout of Asakura to pieces at the weigh-in, eating segments of it and saying: "Nanda yo omae," which translates to "You are already dead."

A rematch between Horiguchi and Kape now seems likely and will almost certainly be featured one of RIZIN's tentpole events in 2020.

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