Are you wondering who the best Portuguese UFC Fighters are?
In this article, we’ll list the best Portuguese UFC fighters of all time and go through their background, credentials, records, fighting skills, and who they’ve won and lost against.
Best Portuguese UFC Fighters
Ranked in order starting with the best, here are the best Portuguese UFC fighters.
1. Manel Kape – ‘Starboy’ (19-6)
Height: 5’5” | Reach: 68” | Stance: Southpaw | Weight Class: Flyweight | DOB: Nov 14, 1993 | Fighting Style: Boxing
Angolan-Portuguese UFC Flyweight Manel Kape is the former Rizin bantamweight champion, Knock Out Championship bantamweight champion, and Invictus Pro league champion.
Manel Kape competed in amateur boxing before transitioning to MMA at 13 years old. He then turned pro in 2012 at the age of 17 and has fought in several promotions around the world: Rizin, KOC, CF, Invictus, and now the UFC.
Since signing a four-fight contract with the UFC in 2021, Manel Kape has shown the following skills:
- Brilliant in-and-out and lateral footwork
- Switches stances often to bait opponents into counters
- Great evasion through constant movement, in and out, side to side, popping shoulders, faking level changes, and low hands for greater vision
- Sets up submissions by first attacking a kimura before transitioning to rear-naked chokes or armbars – and to get up from the ground
- Tremendous boxing speed, power, and accuracy – he rarely misses with 1 punch shots
- Decent takedown defense – 77% in 6 UFC fights (although untested against elite wrestlers)
- High finishing ability – finished 16 of 19 wins via 11 knockouts and 5 submissions
So far in the UFC, Manel Kape’s best wins have come against Ode Osbourne (KO via flying knee), David Dvorak, and Felipe dos Santos.
On the other hand, he lost to Alexandre Pantoja (flyweight champion) on his UFC debut because his activity was too low, and he lost a very close split decision to Matheus Nicolau in the next (many thought Kape won).
Currently on a 4 fight-winning streak and holding his own against Pantoja, Manel Kape is only 29 years old and already the best Portuguese UFC fighter, with a lot more to come.
2. Andre Fialho (16-8-1NC)
Height: 6’0” | Reach: 74” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Welterweight | DOB: Apr 07, 1994 | Fighting Style: Boxing
Born in Cascais, Portugal, Andre Fialho is the former UAE Warriors champion and has competed for the PFL, Bellator, LFA, and UFC.
Andre Fialho boxed from an early age and throughout his teenage years, becoming a Regional Boxing Champion, National Boxing Champion, and Cage Fighters 4 Tournament Champion.
He then dropped out of school at the age of 18 to pursue a career as a professional MMA fighter.
He has since earned a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and moved to Florida to train at Kill Cliff FC under Henri Hooft and Greg Jones.
Since joining the UFC in 2022, Andre Fialho has shown the following skills:
- Powerful and direct boxing – he likes to stay flat-footed at times to achieve maximum power
- Great slips and boxing counters in the pocket
- Cuts off the octagon with side steps to keep pressure on his opponent (energy efficient)
- Brilliant counter left check hook – knocked out VanCamp this way
- Uses a traditional high guard and has very technical boxing – he’s a quintessential student of Henri Hooft (who likes to keep it simple)
- Excellent uppercuts in the clinch – knocked out Miguel Baeza this way
- Laser-focused and determined in fights
So far in the UFC, Andre Fialho has been extremely active and has beaten Miguel Baeza and Cameron VanCamp. However, he’s lost to Michel Pereira, Jake Matthews, Muslim Salikhov, and Joaquin Buckley.
Despite his negative UFC record, Andre Fialho is a highly entertaining and skilled fighter with a lot of potential. He’s still only 29 years old and has time to turn it around.
To improve, he needs to check leg kicks, and add more kicks and wrestling to his game. Right now, he’s skilled but too one-dimensional with his boxing.
In 2023, the Best Portuguese UFC fighters of all time are Manel Kape and Andre Fialho.
As more talented Portuguese UFC fighters join and prove their skills, they’ll be added to this list.