An early candidate for Fight of the Night at UFC 245 saw Brandon Moreno go the distance with Kai Kara-France in flyweight action.
The UFC’s flyweight division may not be what it was in the days of Demetrious Johnson, but the 125lb weight class had life left in it yet. That fact was on display Saturday at UFC 245 when Brandon Moreno took on Kai Kara-France, a battle of the fifth and sixth flyweights in the promotion.
Kai Kara-France entered UFC 245 as the betting favorite, but hey, never tell Brandon Moreno the odds.
The pair opened up their flyweight battle Saturday trading single strikes and short combos, but it didn’t take long for both men to open up. Kara-France went high with a kick early, something that would actually become his opponent’s signature as the fight progressed. But the opening frame belonged to Kai Kara-France, who utilized his right hand and leg kicks to walk away with the round.
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Moreno came on in round two, working his jab and mixing in high kicks. Moreno went to the body as well and was frequently moving forward, putting the pressure on Kai Kara-France. Heading into the third and final frame, the pair were quite likely even at one round apiece, but momentum had shifted in favor of the Mexican fighter.
The third opened with a flurry, Moreno firing off his left hand. Neither man seemed to have lost much in the speed department. Moreno continued to press, while Moreno pawed at his nose, which was bloodied. Moreno played the mental game a little, raising his hands in an attempt to egg Kara-France on. However Kara-France’s output had dropped in this round, and more often than not, his back was to the fence, forcing him to circle out of harm’s way. The pair buckled down for the final minute, heavy blows thrown by both sides. A shot to the body by Moreno seemed to take the wind out of Kara-France’s sails as time ticked away, though he would manage one last exchange before the bell. The pair raised their arms in victory together after the fight, and while the scorecards might say different there was no loser in this one.
After the fight, Moreno told Joe Rogan he wanted to taste the power of Kara-France. Well, to each their own.
“I feel on fire,” Moreno said.
Official Result: Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)