It’s the same date and event, but a different opponent for Kai Kara-France.
The surging flyweight contender will now face Brandon Moreno at UFC 245 on December 15. After an initial report by NZ Herald, Fight News Australia spoke with Kara-France about the new matchup at UFC 243 media day.
“This has been in the works for the last three or four days. Sergio’s not fighting, he’s opted to be a free agent,” he said. “I’m just glad I got another opponent.”
ESPN first reported that initial opponent Sergio Pettis would be testing the market after the expiry of his UFC contract. Though somewhat disappointed, “Don’t Blink” is more concerned with climbing the rankings.
“Stylistically, this was a good matchup. Striker verse striker. I wanted to test myself against the higher level of this division, but it is what it is. We can’t really be too invested in opponents and big names, you’ve just gotta roll with the punches and now I’ve got a new opponent.
“[Moreno]’s done well for himself. He’s higher ranked than me, so it’s something we asked for. We wanted a higher ranked opponent on one of the biggest cards of the year in Las Vegas, and it’s gonna be awesome to be there when Alex (Volkanosvki) wins the featherweight title.”
Kara-France, 26, last competed at UFC Shenzen in August where he won a unanimous decision over Mark De La Rosa. Rather than wait for UFC 243 in Melbourne, the Kiwi opted to fight in China without his City Kickboxing teammates in a decision which paid off well.
“I wanted to do a card on my own because I knew I’d get a lot more exposure and a lot more attention on me. So that was my method behind that and it kinda just all worked out. I got the win, Dana White was right in front of me, I impressed him, and now I’ve got another four-fight contract with the UFC.”
Moreno (15-5) is coming off a split draw with Askar Askarov at UFC Mexico City last month. Known for his skills on the ground, 10 of his 15 wins come by way of submission. With a win over #7-ranked Moreno, Kara-France (20-7) imagines himself within close range of the flyweight title.
“I’m only two or three fights away from a title shot. I can see it right in front of me. Being on an eight-fight win streak, 3-0 in the UFC, there’s not many guys in my division doing that. So take out another ranked opponent and, it’s a bit ambitious for me to say it, but when the UFC come back to Auckland next year, you never know, it could be headlined by me and (current champion Henry) Cejudo. So it’s an exciting time for me and an exciting time for the flyweight division.”
Kai “Don’t blink” Kara-France speaks about now fighting Brandon Moreno at UFC 245 and dreaming of title fight with Henry Cejudo in Auckland.
Posted by Fight News Australia on Thursday, 3 October 2019