Kai Kara-France

James Kaiwhare Kara-France[1] (born March 26, 1993) is a New Zealand professional mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the Flyweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of March 29, 2022, he is #2 in the UFC flyweight rankings.[7]

Kai Kara-France
KaiKaraFrance.jpg
Kai Kara-France in 2019
BornJames Kaiwhare Kara-France[1][2]
(1993-03-26) 26 March 1993 (age 29)
Nickname(s)Don't Blink
NationalityNew Zealander
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)
DivisionFlyweight
Bantamweight
Reach69 in (175 cm)[3]
Fighting out ofAuckland, New Zealand
TeamTiger Muay Thai (2012–2016)[4]
City Kickboxing (2016–present)[5]
RankBlue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[6]
Years active2010–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total34
Wins24
By knockout11
By submission3
By decision10
Losses9
By knockout2
By submission3
By decision4
No contests1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

BackgroundEdit

Kara-France started practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 10 but stopped after two years.[4] After being bullied for his small stature in high school – Mount Albert Grammar School – he started training mixed martial arts as a whole.[4] Kara-France attended Unitec Institute of Technology for a spell, but dropped out.[4] He is partly of Maori ancestry.[8]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

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.[9]

Kara-France decided to drop out of the university after seeing a Facebook post promoting Tiger Muay Thai gym scholarship.[4] He applied to the gym and was awarded the scholarship after try-outs.[4] He moved to Phuket, Thailand, in 2013 where he trained and built his mixed martial arts record by fighting around Asia and The Pacific.[4]

The Ultimate FighterEdit

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.[10] He won his first fight with a 30-second KO win over Terrence Mitchell.[11] His second and final fight in this tournament was in the quarterfinals, where he lost by decision to Alexandre Pantoja.[12]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Kara-France was signed by the UFC in July 2018[13] 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,[14] and he was replaced by Elias Garcia.[15] After both fighters getting knocked down, Kara-France won the fight via unanimous decision.[16] Both fighters were awarded US$50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses.[17]

Two months later, Kara-France faced Raulian Paiva on February 10, 2019 at UFC 234.[18] He won the fight via split decision.[19]

Kara-France faced Mark De La Rosa on August 31, 2019 at UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Zhang.[20] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[21]

Kara-France was briefly linked to a bout to Sergio Pettis on December 14, 2019 at UFC 245.[22] 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.[23] Kara-France instead faced Brandon Moreno.[24] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.[25]

Kara-France faced Tyson Nam on February 23, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 168.[26] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[27]

Kara-France was expected to face Alex Perez on May 16, 2020.[28] 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.[29]

Kara-France faced Brandon Royval on September 27, 2020 at UFC 253.[30] After both fighters were knocked down in the first round, Kara-France lost the fight via submission in the second round.[31] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[32]

As the first bout of his new four-fight contract, Kara-France faced Rogério Bontorin on March 6, 2021 at UFC 259.[33][34] He won the fight via knockout in round one.[35] This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award. [36]

Kara-France next faced former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt on December 11, 2021 at UFC 269.[37] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[38] The win also earned Kara-France his second consecutive Performance of the Night bonus award.[39]

Kara-France faced Askar Askarov on March 26, 2022 at UFC on ESPN 33.[40] He spoiled Askarov's undefeated record, handing him his first loss via unanimous decision.[41]

Kara-France is scheduled to face former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno in a rematch for the interim UFC Flyweight Championship on July 30, 2022, at UFC 277.[42]

Personal lifeEdit

Kai and his wife Chardae have a son, Cobi (born 2021).[43]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
34 matches 24 wins 9 losses
By knockout 11 2
By submission 3 3
By decision 10 4
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 24–9 (1) Askar Askarov Decision (unanimous) UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Daukaus March 26, 2022 3 5:00 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Win 23–9 (1) Cody Garbrandt TKO (punches) UFC 269 December 11, 2021 1 3:21 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 22–9 (1) Rogério Bontorin KO (punches) UFC 259 March 6, 2021 1 4:55 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
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) WLF W.A.R.S. 19 November 11, 2017 3 5:00 Zhengzhou, China
Win 15–7 (1) Aori Qileng Decision (unanimous) WLF W.A.R.S. 14 May 20, 2017 3 5:00 Zhengzhou, China Catchweight (129 lb) bout.
Win 14–7 (1) Ze Wu TKO (punches) WLF 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 (cartwheel kick and 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 KO (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
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 (unanimous) 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 N/A Auckland, New Zealand Bantamweight debut.

[44]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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 "Stats | UFC". ufcstats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ James Borrowdale (April 2, 2020). "Iron sharpens iron: City Kickboxing and the team behind Israel Adesanya's UFC success". Metro Magazine.
  6. ^ "Kai Kara France | UFC". UFC.com. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  7. ^ "UFC Rankings, Division Rankings, P4P rankings, UFC Champions | UFC.com". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  8. ^ Fighting Is In Kai Kara-France's DNA at ufc.com.
  9. ^ Sherdog.com. "Kai". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  10. ^ Doyle, Dave (2016-07-19). "TUF 24 flyweight cast revealed". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  11. ^ "Video: Kai Kara-France earns quickfire TUF KO". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  12. ^ "Episode No. 8 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions'". MMA Junkie. 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  13. ^ "Kai Kara France received a UFC deal in a pretty cool way". MMA Junkie. 2018-07-19. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Elias Garcia steps in vs. Kai Kara France at UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide". MMA Junkie. 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  16. ^ "UFC Adelaide: Kai Kara-France dominates Elias Garcia to a unanimous decision victory". FanSided. 2018-12-01. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  17. ^ a b Staff (2018-12-02). "Two octagon newcomers among UFC Adelaide bonus winners". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  18. ^ "Kai Kara-France vs. Raulian Paiva flyweight bout added to UFC 234". MMAJunkie. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  19. ^ "UFC 234: Kai Kara-France earns split decision win over Raulian Paiva". Newshub. 2019-10-02. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Anderson, Jay (2019-08-31). "UFC Shenzhen Results: Kai Kara-France Improves Win Streak to Eight Straight". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ DNA, MMA. "Snelle terugkeer voor Kai Kara-France tegen Tyson Nam tijdens UFC Auckland". Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  27. ^ Evanoff, Josh (February 22, 2020). "UFC Auckland Results: Kai Kara-France Outpoints Tyson Nam". Cageside Press. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Steven Marrocco (2020-04-20). "UFC officially cancels four events due to coronavirus pandemic". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  30. ^ Redactie (2020-07-27). "UFC Flyweightclash tussen Kai Kara-France en Brandon Royval op 26 september" (in Dutch). mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  31. ^ Fuentes, Jon (2020-09-26). "UFC 253 Results: Brandon Royval Makes Kai Kara-France Tap". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ DNA, MMA (2021-01-09). "Rogério Bontorin treft Kai Kara-France tijdens UFC 259". MMA DNA. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  34. ^ Kai Kara France to turn failure into success against Rogerio Bontorin for newborn son. South China Morning Post. February 23, 2021 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ Anderson, Jay (2021-03-06). "UFC 259 Results: Kai Kara-France Pulls Off Wild Comeback Against Rogerio Bontorin". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  36. ^ a b c Lee, Alexander K. (7 March 2021). "UFC 259 bonuses: Kennedy Nzechukwu and Carlos Ulberg earn Fight of the Night for back-and-forth scrap". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  37. ^ Mike Heck, Damon Martin (August 2, 2021). "Cody Garbrandt to make flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France at Dec. 11 UFC event". MMAFighting.com. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  38. ^ Anderson, Jay (2021-12-11). "UFC 269: Kai Kara-France Spoils Cody Garbrandt's Flyweight Debut". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  39. ^ a b Newswire (2021-12-12). "UFC 269 bonuses: Dana White feeling generous, 8 fighters get $50,000 checks". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  40. ^ Dorff, Marcel (2021-12-25). "Onofficiele "title eliminator" tussen Askar Askarov en Kai Kara-France tijdens UFC Columbus". MMA DNA. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  41. ^ Anderson, Jay (2022-03-26). "UFC Columbus: Kai Kara-France Upsets Askar Askarov in Thriller". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  42. ^ "Report | Brandon Moreno Vs. Kai Kara-France 2 Booked For Interim Title Fight At UFC 277". 2022-05-10. Retrieved 2022-05-12.
  43. ^ Kai Kara-France [@kaikarafrance] (February 14, 2021). "So proud of my fiancé @chardaeb Welcome to the world our son Cobi!" – via Instagram.
  44. ^ Sherdog.com. "Kai". Sherdog. Retrieved 2021-03-07.

External linksEdit