Alex Perez TKO [600x400]
Alex Perez TKO [600x400] (Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Clippers Leonard knee questionable for Game 2

Matheus Nicolau will be looking to get back on track April 27 in the men's flyweight main event of UFC Fight Night, but he will have to do it against a new opponent. The UFC announced Tuesday that Manel Kape has withdrawn from the fight and been replaced by onetime title challenger Alex Perez.

Nicolau (19-3-1) saw a six-fight winning streak end last April in a first-round KO loss to Brandon Royval. Nicolau, No. 8 in the ESPN men's flyweight rankings, was to face Kape in January in a rematch of a 2021 bout won by Nicolau by split decision. But Kape badly missed weight at the weigh-in and the bout was canceled before being rescheduled for this month.

Instead, Nicolau will face Perez (24-8), who has lost three fights in a row. The skid began with a 2020 submission loss to then-champ Deiveson Figueiredo and continued with a tapout defeat in 2022 against Alexandre Pantoja, who is the 125-pound division's current champ.

The April 27 main card at UFC Apex in Las Vegas will be on ESPN and ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET, with prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 4 p.m.