Kai Kara-France

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Kai Kara-France
KaiKaraFrance.jpg
Kai Kara-France in 2019
BornJames Kaiwhare Kara-France[1][2]
(1993-03-26) 26 March 1993 (age 27)
Nickname(s)Don't Blink
NationalityNew Zealander
Height5 ft 4 in (163 cm)
Weight125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)
DivisionFlyweight
Bantamweight
StyleKickboxing
Fighting out ofAuckland, New Zealand
TeamTiger Muay Thai (2012–2016)[3]
City Kickboxing (2016–present)[4]
RankBlue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[5]
Years active2010–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total31
Wins21
By knockout9
By submission3
By decision9
Losses9
By knockout2
By submission3
By decision4
No contests1
Other information
Websitekaikarafrance.com
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

James Kaiwhare Kara-France[1] (born March 26, 1993) is a New Zealand professional mixed martial artist, who currently competes in the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of February 9, 2021, he is #8 in the UFC flyweight rankings.[6]

Background[edit]

Kara-France had practised Brazilian jiu-jitsu from the age of 10 onwards, but stopped it after two years.[3] After being bullied for his small stature in high school – Mount Albert Grammar School – he started training mixed martial arts as a whole.[3] Kara-France attended Unitec Institute of Technology for a spell, but dropped out.[3]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In November 2010, Kara-France began his professional MMA career in his home city of Auckland, New Zealand, with a first-round TKO win over Ray Kaitiana.[7]

Kara-France decided to drop out of the university after seeing a Facebook post promoting Tiger Muay Thai gym scholarship.[3] He applied to the gym and was awarded the scholarship after try-outs.[3] He moved to Phuket, Thailand, in 2013 where he trained and built his mixed martial arts record by fighting around Asia and The Pacific.[3]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In 2016, Kara-France competed in The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions - the 24th edition of the UFC-produced reality television series The Ultimate Fighter.[8] He won his first fight with a 30-second KO win over Terrence Mitchell.[9] His second and final fight in this tournament was in the quarterfinals, where he lost by decision to Alexandre Pantoja.[10]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Kara-France was signed by the UFC in July 2018[11] and he made his UFC debut on December 1, 2018 at UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Tuivasa against Ashkan Mokhtarian. However, on November 21, 2018, Moktarian was pulled from the fight, citing an injury,[12] and he was replaced by Elias Garcia.[13] After both fighters getting knocked down, Kara-France won the fight via unanimous decision.[14] Both fighters were awarded US$50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses.[15]

Two months later, Kara-France faced Raulian Paiva on February 10, 2019 at UFC 234.[16] He won the fight via split decision.[17]

Kara-France faced Mark De La Rosa on August 31, 2019 at UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Zhang.[18] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[19]

Kara-France was briefly linked to a bout to Sergio Pettis on December 14, 2019 at UFC 245.[20] However, in early October, Pettis revealed that he was entertaining offers from other promotions after the completion of his previous contract and did not currently have a fight lined up with the promotion.[21] Kara-France instead faced Brandon Moreno.[22] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.[23]

Kara-France faced Tyson Nam on February 23, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 168.[24] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[25]

Kara-France was expected to face Alex Perez on May 16, 2020.[26] However, on April 9, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed to a future date due to COVID-19 pandemic.[27]

Kara-France faced Brandon Royval on September 27, 2020 at UFC 253.[28] After both fighters being knocked down in the first round, Kara-France lost the fight via submission in the second round.[29] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[30]

Kara-France is scheduled to face Rogério Bontorin on March 6, 2021 at UFC 259.[31]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
31 matches 21 wins 9 losses
By knockout 9 2
By submission 3 3
By decision 9 4
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 21–9 (1) Brandon Royval Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 253 September 27, 2020 2 0:48 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Fight of the Night.
Win 21–8 (1) Tyson Nam Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. Hooker February 23, 2020 3 5:00 Auckland, New Zealand
Loss 20–8 (1) Brandon Moreno Decision (unanimous) UFC 245 December 14, 2019 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 20–7 (1) Mark De La Rosa Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Zhang August 31, 2019 3 5:00 Shenzhen, China
Win 19–7 (1) Raulian Paiva Decision (split) UFC 234 February 10, 2019 3 5:00 Melbourne, Australia
Win 18–7 (1) Elias Garcia Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Tuivasa December 2, 2018 3 5:00 Adelaide, Australia Return to Flyweight. Fight of the Night.
Win 17–7 (1) Xiaoyu Shi Submission (rear-naked choke) Glory of Heroes: New Zealand vs. China March 4, 2018 1 N/A Auckland, New Zealand
Win 16–7 (1) Huoyixibai Chuhayifu Decision (unanimous) W.A.R.S. 19 November 11, 2017 3 5:00 Zhengzhou, China
Win 15–7 (1) Qileng Aori Decision (unanimous) W.A.R.S. 14 May 20, 2017 3 5:00 Zhengzhou, China Catchweight (129 lb) bout.
Win 14–7 (1) Ze Wu TKO W.A.R.S. 13 April 22, 2017 1 2:01 Zhengzhou, China
Win 13–7 (1) Rodolfo Marques KO (punch) Hex Fight Series 8 March 31, 2017 3 2:59 Melbourne, Australia Return to Bantamweight.
Loss 12–7 (1) Tatsumitsu Wada Decision (unanimous) Rizin World Grand Prix 2016: 2nd Round December 29, 2016 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 12–6 (1) Crisanto Pitpitunge TKO (punches) Pacific Xtreme Combat 52 March 18, 2016 3 0:00 Mangilao, Guam
Win 11–6 (1) Josh Duenas TKO (punches) Pacific Xtreme Combat 50 December 4, 2015 1 0:22 Mangilao, Guam
Win 10–6 (1) Shantaram Maharaj TKO (punches) Bragging Rights 7 September 27, 2015 1 1:33 Perth, Australia Won the KOZ Flyweight Championship.
Win 9–6 (1) Dindo Camansa TKO (punches) Malaysian Invasion: Mixed Martial A'rr June 1, 2015 1 0:12 Andaman Sea, Thailand Flyweight debut.
Win 8–6 (1) Ik Hwan Jang TKO (punches) PRO Fighting 10 May 9, 2015 1 0:08 Taipei, Taiwan
Loss 7–6 (1) Jumayi Ayideng Decision (unanimous) Kunlun Fight 18 January 18, 2015 3 5:00 Nanjing, China
Loss 7–5 (1) Mark Striegl Submission (rear-naked choke) Malaysian Invasion 2: Grand Finals October 25, 2014 1 2:10 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Loss 7–4 (1) Gustavo Falciroli Submission (brabo choke) AFC 9 May 17, 2014 1 4:55 Melbourne, Australia For the AFC Bantamweight Championship.
Win 7–3 (1) Tieyin Wu Decision (unanimous) Kunlun Fight 1 January 25, 2014 3 5:00 Pattaya, Thailand
NC 6–3 (1) Gustavo Falciroli No Contest AFC 7 December 14, 2013 2 3:20 Melbourne, Australia Kai was KO'd and fell through the ropes, controversially ruled a NC.
Win 6–3 Tieyin Wu Submission (guillotine choke) Bandung Fighting Club October 23, 2013 1 1:54 Manila, Philippines
Win 5–3 Yudi Cahyadi Decision (Uunanimous) Bandung Fighting Club September 29, 2013 3 5:00 Bandung, Indonesia
Win 4–3 Ho-Joon Kim KO (head kick) PRO Fighting 8 August 4, 2013 1 3:44 Taipei, Taiwan
Loss 3–3 Danaa Batgerel Decision (unanimous) Legend Fighting Championship 11 April 27, 2013 3 5:00 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Win 3–2 Caleb Lally Decision (unanimous) Rage in the Cage: MMA Fighting Championship October 13, 2012 3 5:00 Tauranga, New Zealand
Win 2–2 Sam Chan Submission (guillotine choke) Legend Fighting Championship 10 August 24, 2012 1 3:21 Hong Kong, SAR, China
Loss 1–2 Agustin Delarmino KO (punches) Legend Fighting Championship 8 March 30, 2012 3 0:29 Hong Kong, SAR, China
Loss 1–1 Chad George KO (punch) The Cage 2: USA vs. New Zealand December 2, 2011 1 2:04 Whakatane, New Zealand
Win 1–0 Ray Kaitiana TKO (punches) Supremacy Cage Fighting 7 27 November 2010 1 0:00 Auckland, New Zealand Bantamweight debut.

[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kaiwhare Kara-France is ready for battle at UFC 245". Māori Television. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  2. ^ UFC 245 results
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Jackson Thomas (September 2, 2015). "Don't blink: Kiwi fighter Kai Kara-France fighting his way to UFC contract". stuff.co.nz.
  4. ^ James Borrowdale (April 2, 2020). "Iron sharpens iron: City Kickboxing and the team behind Israel Adesanya's UFC success". Metro Magazine.
  5. ^ "Kai Kara France | UFC". UFC.com. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  6. ^ "Rankings | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2021-02-09.
  7. ^ Sherdog.com. "Kai". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  8. ^ Doyle, Dave (2016-07-19). "TUF 24 flyweight cast revealed". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  9. ^ "Video: Kai Kara-France earns quickfire TUF KO". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  10. ^ "Episode No. 8 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions'". MMA Junkie. 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  11. ^ "Kai Kara France received a UFC deal in a pretty cool way". MMA Junkie. 2018-07-19. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  12. ^ John Morgan (2018-11-21). "Ashkan Mokhtarian out of UFC Adelaide, UFC seeks Anzac opponent for Kai Kara-France". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  13. ^ "Elias Garcia steps in vs. Kai Kara France at UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide". MMA Junkie. 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  14. ^ "UFC Adelaide: Kai Kara-France dominates Elias Garcia to a unanimous decision victory". FanSided. 2018-12-01. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  15. ^ a b Staff (2018-12-02). "Two octagon newcomers among UFC Adelaide bonus winners". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  16. ^ "Kai Kara-France vs. Raulian Paiva flyweight bout added to UFC 234". MMAJunkie. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  17. ^ "UFC 234: Kai Kara-France earns split decision win over Raulian Paiva". Newshub. 2019-10-02. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  18. ^ NZME, Christopher Reive Christopher Reive is a sports reporter for (2019-07-16). "MMA: Kai Kara-France set for bout against Mark de la Rosa at UFC Shenzhen". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  19. ^ Anderson, Jay (2019-08-31). "UFC Shenzhen Results: Kai Kara-France Improves Win Streak to Eight Straight". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  20. ^ Marvin France (2019-09-29). "Kiwi Kai Kara-France books fight against Sergio Pettis at UFC 245 in Las Vegas". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  21. ^ Jesse Holland (2019-10-03). "Free agency puts Sergio Pettis vs Kai Kara-France 'on hold' for UFC 245". MMAMania.com. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  22. ^ Christopher Rieve (2019-10-04). "Kai Kara-France to fight Brandon Moreno at UFC 245, Sergio Pettis now testing free agency". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  23. ^ Martin, Damon (2019-12-14). "UFC 245 results: Brandon Moreno puts on striking display to outduel Kai Kara-France". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  24. ^ DNA, MMA. "Snelle terugkeer voor Kai Kara-France tegen Tyson Nam tijdens UFC Auckland". Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  25. ^ Evanoff, Josh (February 22, 2020). "UFC Auckland Results: Kai Kara-France Outpoints Tyson Nam". Cageside Press. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  26. ^ Nolan King and Mike Bohn (2020-03-06). "Alex Perez vs. Kai Kara-France booked for flyweight fight at UFC San Diego". mmajunkie. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  27. ^ Steven Marrocco (2020-04-20). "UFC officially cancels four events due to coronavirus pandemic". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  28. ^ Redactie (2020-07-27). "UFC Flyweightclash tussen Kai Kara-France en Brandon Royval op 26 september". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-07-28.language=en-nl}}
  29. ^ Fuentes, Jon (2020-09-26). "UFC 253 Results: Brandon Royval Makes Kai Kara-France Tap". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  30. ^ a b Alexander K. Lee (2020-09-27). "UFC 253 bonuses: Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz cash in with championship performances". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  31. ^ DNA, MMA (2021-01-09). "Rogério Bontorin treft Kai Kara-France tijdens UFC 259". MMA DNA. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  32. ^ Sherdog.com. "Kai". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-09-23.

External links[edit]