Kai Kara-France books UFC birthday bash against Askar Askarov

By Te Ao - Māori News

The path to flyweight championship status draws closer for UFC fighter & Te Ao Toa presenter Kai Kara-France, as the UFC confirmed his next fight inside the octagon earlier today.

Coming hot off his first-round knockout over Cody Garbrandt in December, the #6-ranked flyweight will go up against the number two; Russian fighter Askar Askarov (13 wins, one draw).

"Don't Blink" meets "Bullet" in March, with huge flyweight title implications. Credit: Facebook/Kai Kara-France.

It is believed that this bout will determine the next flyweight title contender, with the belt on the line very soon between Deiveson Figueiredo and current champion Brandon Moreno at UFC 270 on January 23.

The Ngāti Kahungunu fighter's next bout also falls on his birthday of March 26 when he fights in Colombus, Ohio. A present to himself would no doubt be an emphatic win over Askarov to be next in line for the belt.

Askar "Bullet" Askarov, similar to Kai, has had a history with current champ Brandon Moreno. With Kai suffering his first UFC loss to Moreno by decision in December 2019, Askarov fought Moreno earlier that same year in September only for there to be a draw between both fighters.

Since his draw with Moreno, though, Askarov has been on a three-fight win streak that has propelled him to the #2 flyweight ranking. 


A post shared by Askar Askarov (@askar_mma)

Askar meets Kai. Credit: Instagram/askar_mma.

Kai speaks to Sky Sport NZ from hotel quarantine. Credit: YouTube/Sky Sport NZ.

Speaking to Sky Sport NZ from hotel quarantine in Christchurch, Kara-France says the UFC was already in talks of making his next fight with Askarov after beating Cody Garbrandt.

"I said I wanted a title shot. They [the UFC] said, 'Oh, sorry but we're not going to give you that. I felt like they're going to give that to the number one contender who is Alexandre Pantoja, but I said 'Give me the number one contender fight,' so the Russian, Askar Askarov was the number one contender pretty much so I see it as the next best thing outside a title fight."

"Doubt me; that's what fuels my fire, it's what everyone did on my last fight. I'm more than ready for this."

Kara-France says that once he's finished MIQ in Christchurch, after holidaying in Hawai'i with his wife and son, it's back to City Kickboxing for his next fight camp. 

"I'm excited, I'm refreshed. Having that little break with my family, it's important to have that downtime so then when I start this next camp I'm just ready to get back in there and pick up where we left off and make a run for this title."

Kai's next bout will be on for fight fans to watch on Sunday, March 27.