Manel Kape appears to be bidding farewell to Rizin. The recently crowned bantamweight champion shared a lengthy Instagram post in Japanese in which he suggests his time with the promotion is at an end.

Here is the Angolan’s Instagram post:

View this post on Instagram

RIZINの関係者と日本のファンが、私のためにしてくれた全てのことに感謝します。皆さんは、愛情を込めて、いつも私を温かく歓迎してくれました。 皆さんのおかげで、私は今、自分のことを本当の日本人だと感じており、これから日本の国旗を世界中に持ち運びます。そして、私は常に、最高の形で日本を代表します! 人生を変えてくれたRIZINに、心の底から感謝します。この3年間、私が自分の仕事を最高の形で行うためのあらゆるチャンスを与えてくれました!勝ったときも、負けたときも、常に支援してくれ、最高のチャンスを与えてくれました! ここ数年で成し遂げた栄冠は自分にとって、とても重要です。心の底から感謝します。本当にありがとうございました! 私はどこへ行っても、この感謝の気持ちを決して忘れません。これはお別れではなく、またいつかという意味です。良き息子は家に戻ります。だから、私はいつか日本に戻ってきます! 未来がどうであろうと、私は決して日本を忘れることはありません。本当にありがとうございました! #Rizin❤️ #japan❤️ #arigatogozaimasu

A post shared by マネル・ケイプ Manel Prodígio Kape (@manelkape) on

Kape does not specifically state that he is a free agent, or has signed with another promotion. Instead he thanks Rizin for changing his life, pledges to always represent Japan and says he hopes to fight in the country again in the future.

Kape became the bantamweight champion when he stopped Kai Asakura at Rizin 20. With Kyoji Horiguchi injured and Tenshin Nasukawa tied up with Muay Thai and kickboxing commitments that makes him one of the promotion’s biggest stars.

Hiromasa Ogikubo was reported to be next in line for Kape and it seems unlikely that Nobuyuki Sakakibara would have been careless enough to allow his contract to expire.

Perhaps the Instagram post was intended as a warning shot to the promotion ahead of a new contract negotiation. But his status as a champion with a 15-4 record would make Kape an attractive signing for the UFC, ONE Championship or Bellator.

It will be interesting to see whether Kape can make good on his pledge to leave Japan behind and start a new career elsewhere, or if the 26 year old ends up defending his title against Ogikubo in the coming months as expected.