'Don't Blink' wants hometown flyweight title bout; welcomes Sunday Askarov challenge

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Since defeating one of the greatest former bantamweight champions in Cody Garbrandt last year, it's almost go-time again for Ngāti Kahungnunu flyweight Kai Kara-France to get one step closer to a title match when he goes up against the #2 ranked flyweight, the undefeated Askar Askarov, this Sunday.

Less than two days out from one of the most important matches in his UFC career, the City Kickboxing fighter sat down with the press in Colombus, Ohio earlier today to discuss his opponent and, should he defeat Askarov, a hometown UFC event for the belt.

"Being a New Zealand UFC fighter, this is what we do. We travel all across the world and [it's] no excuses: turn up, make weight, put on a show. It's nothing new to me," Kara-France says.

"I feel like it's time for the UFC to come back to New Zealand and put on a show. We've really missed it, having so many elite fighters coming out of the country.

"Not looking past Askarov but that would be the dream, bring a title back to New Zealand and do it on home soil."


His rise continues this Sunday. Credit: YouTube / UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship.

And even with the tough task of trying to beat an undefeated fighter, he welcomes that task and wants the best version of Askarov, who is on a three-fight win streak in the UFC but has yet to fight in almost a year.

"I want him to strike with me, I want him to try and get me down, I want him to try and hold me down, and when I neutralise that and get back to my feet, I put my hands on him, I'll find the targets and eventually find that shot. 

"Taking one of the toughest guys in the division will put me in that position where I won't be overlooked. People will be saying 'this is the guy to watch', that's all I'm focused on."

Fight fans can see this bout and many others on UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus, with the main card starting at 12pm NZ time this Sunday. 


A post shared by Askar Askarov (@askar_mma)

Askarov and co ready for their Sunday scrap. Credit: Instagram / UFC.