Kai Kara-France vs. Manel Kape Targeted for UFC 293

Kai Kara-France, UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 03: (R-L) Kai Kara-France of New Zealand punches Amir Albazi of Iraq in a flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

As expected, ranked flyweights Kai Kara-France and Manel Kape are being targeted for Sydney, Australia’s UFC 293.

Just days after both fighters posted on social media that they had fight news coming (with an Australian flag attached), ESPN reports that the promotion is in fact pursuing that fight. Verbal agreements for the bout, quite obviously, are in place.

Kara-France is currently ranked #5 in the weight class, while Kape sits in the #9 position.

Coming off a split decision loss to Amir Albazi earlier this month, Kai Kara-France (24-11, 1NC) has now lost two straight bouts. Prior to the Albazi setback, which had fans up in arms once again over judging in MMA, Kara-France had lost an interim title fight against Brandon Moreno.

Kape (18-6), a former RIZIN bantamweight champion, had a rocky start to his UFC career, losing his first two fights and missing the flyweight limit in his third, a win over Ode Osbourne. “Starboy” has turned things around nicely, however, and is now on a three-fight win streak.

Most recently, Kape earned a unanimous decision victory over David Dvorak.

UFC 293 is expected to take place at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia on September 9, 2023 (Sept. 10 locally), marking the UFC’s first event in the NSW capital since 2017. Only one other fight has been reported for the card to date, as City Kickboxing’s Carlos Ulberg faces South Korean Da Un Jung.