Dallas, TX – UFC flyweight Kai Kara-France doesn’t care that he’s fighting for an interim belt against Brandon Moreno as the co-main event of UFC 277 on Saturday night.
For the man out of the now famous City Kickboxing gym in New Zealand it’s still a world title no matter what current champion Deiveson Figueiredo says.
“So Figgy was saying this is a cardboard belt, a plastic belt, but it’s still a world title and I’ve got to respect that. This is everything I’ve worked for. He’s not here, I’m here, I’m squaring off against Brandon and we get to run it back,” Kara-France told reporters on Wednesday.
Kara-France comes into UFC 277 riding a 3-fight win streak, all knockouts, over Rogerio Bontorin, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, and Askar Askarov respectively.
“I said it in the Cody Garbrandt lead up where I was saying I stopped chasing becoming the champion and started believing it. I feel like that’s definitely what you’re seeing. What you’re seeing in the cage is just a product of the hard work that we’re putting in at City Kickboxing. I train with world champions day in and day out,” Kara-France said.
“Alex (Volkanovski), Izzy (Israel Adesanya) I know what it takes. I know the mindset they have. It’s about having high standards. I’ve done that in my last few fights. For this fight I’ve taken no shortcuts. I’m ready to go wherever this fight goes.”
This is Kara-France’s first five-round fight and main event in the UFC, but he doesn’t think it’s going to matter.
“It’s a five-round fight, my first one. I’m at the stage where it doesn’t even matter who I’m fighting. Brandon, Figueiredo, it’s not about that. It’s about myself. I’m just more than ready to become a world champion,” said Kara-France.
With a win at UFC 277 Kara-France would have a choice to make. With the current champion out due to injury and no real timetable to lean on what would be the next move for the City Kickboxing product?
“Well he’s going to be there Saturday night. He can sit back enjoy, eat his popcorn, hopefully not put on too much weight, because once I get past Brandon I’d love to square off against him,” Kara-France said.
“I know it’s going to happen. He’s injured at the moment, but I’d love to do it on my side of the world in Australia or New Zealand.”
Watch the full UFC 277 media day appearance by Kai Kara-France above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 30, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.