James Kaiwhare Kara-France (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.
|Born||James Kaiwhare Kara-France|
26 March 1993
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Weight||125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)|
|Reach||69 in (175 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Team||Tiger Muay Thai (2012–2016) |
City Kickboxing (2016–present)
|Rank||Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Kara-France started practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 10 but stopped after two years. After being bullied for his small stature in high school – Mount Albert Grammar School – he started training mixed martial arts as a whole. Kara-France attended Unitec Institute of Technology for a spell, but dropped out. He is partly of Maori ancestry.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Kara-France decided to drop out of the university after seeing a Facebook post promoting Tiger Muay Thai gym scholarship. He applied to the gym and was awarded the scholarship after try-outs. He moved to Phuket, Thailand, in 2013 where he trained and built his mixed martial arts record by fighting around Asia and The Pacific.
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. He won his first fight with a 30-second KO win over Terrence Mitchell. His second and final fight in this tournament was in the quarterfinals, where he lost by decision to Alexandre Pantoja.
Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit
Kara-France was signed by the UFC in July 2018 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, and he was replaced by Elias Garcia. After both fighters getting knocked down, Kara-France won the fight via unanimous decision. Both fighters were awarded US$50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses.
Kara-France was briefly linked to a bout to Sergio Pettis on December 14, 2019 at UFC 245. 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. Kara-France instead faced Brandon Moreno. He lost the fight by unanimous decision.
Kara-France was expected to face Alex Perez on May 16, 2020. 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.
Kara-France faced Brandon Royval on September 27, 2020 at UFC 253. After both fighters were knocked down in the first round, Kara-France lost the fight via submission in the second round. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.
As the first bout of his new four-fight contract, Kara-France faced Rogério Bontorin on March 6, 2021 at UFC 259. He won the fight via knockout in round one. This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award. 
Kara-France next faced former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt on December 11, 2021 at UFC 269. He won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Kara-France his second consecutive Performance of the Night bonus award.
Kai and his wife Chardae have a son, Cobi (born 2021).
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
Mixed martial artsEdit
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|34 matches||24 wins||9 losses|
|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.|
- "Kaiwhare Kara-France is ready for battle at UFC 245". Māori Television. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
- UFC 245 results
- "Stats | UFC". ufcstats.com. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- Jackson Thomas (September 2, 2015). "Don't blink: Kiwi fighter Kai Kara-France fighting his way to UFC contract". stuff.co.nz.
- James Borrowdale (April 2, 2020). "Iron sharpens iron: City Kickboxing and the team behind Israel Adesanya's UFC success". Metro Magazine.
- "Kai Kara France | UFC". UFC.com. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
- "UFC Rankings, Division Rankings, P4P rankings, UFC Champions | UFC.com". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
- Fighting Is In Kai Kara-France's DNA at ufc.com.
- Sherdog.com. "Kai". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- Doyle, Dave (2016-07-19). "TUF 24 flyweight cast revealed". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "Video: Kai Kara-France earns quickfire TUF KO". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "Episode No. 8 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions'". MMA Junkie. 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "Kai Kara France received a UFC deal in a pretty cool way". MMA Junkie. 2018-07-19. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- 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.
- "Elias Garcia steps in vs. Kai Kara France at UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide". MMA Junkie. 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "UFC Adelaide: Kai Kara-France dominates Elias Garcia to a unanimous decision victory". FanSided. 2018-12-01. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- Staff (2018-12-02). "Two octagon newcomers among UFC Adelaide bonus winners". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
- "Kai Kara-France vs. Raulian Paiva flyweight bout added to UFC 234". MMAJunkie. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "UFC 234: Kai Kara-France earns split decision win over Raulian Paiva". Newshub. 2019-10-02. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- 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.
- Anderson, Jay (2019-08-31). "UFC Shenzhen Results: Kai Kara-France Improves Win Streak to Eight Straight". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- DNA, MMA. "Snelle terugkeer voor Kai Kara-France tegen Tyson Nam tijdens UFC Auckland". Retrieved 2019-12-26.
- Evanoff, Josh (February 22, 2020). "UFC Auckland Results: Kai Kara-France Outpoints Tyson Nam". Cageside Press. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
- 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.
- Steven Marrocco (2020-04-20). "UFC officially cancels four events due to coronavirus pandemic". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
- Redactie (2020-07-27). "UFC Flyweightclash tussen Kai Kara-France en Brandon Royval op 26 september" (in Dutch). mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
- Fuentes, Jon (2020-09-26). "UFC 253 Results: Brandon Royval Makes Kai Kara-France Tap". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- Alexander K. Lee (2020-09-27). "UFC 253 bonuses: Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz cash in with championship performances". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- DNA, MMA (2021-01-09). "Rogério Bontorin treft Kai Kara-France tijdens UFC 259". MMA DNA. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
- Kai Kara France to turn failure into success against Rogerio Bontorin for newborn son. South China Morning Post. February 23, 2021 – via YouTube.
- Anderson, Jay (2021-03-06). "UFC 259 Results: Kai Kara-France Pulls Off Wild Comeback Against Rogerio Bontorin". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 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.
- 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.
- Anderson, Jay (2021-12-11). "UFC 269: Kai Kara-France Spoils Cody Garbrandt's Flyweight Debut". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
- Newswire (2021-12-12). "UFC 269 bonuses: Dana White feeling generous, 8 fighters get $50,000 checks". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
- Dorff, Marcel (2021-12-25). "Onofficiele "title eliminator" tussen Askar Askarov en Kai Kara-France tijdens UFC Columbus". MMA DNA. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
- Anderson, Jay (2022-03-26). "UFC Columbus: Kai Kara-France Upsets Askar Askarov in Thriller". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
- "Report | Brandon Moreno Vs. Kai Kara-France 2 Booked For Interim Title Fight At UFC 277". 2022-05-10. Retrieved 2022-05-12.
- Kai Kara-France [@kaikarafrance] (February 14, 2021). "So proud of my fiancé @chardaeb Welcome to the world our son Cobi!" – via Instagram.
- Sherdog.com. "Kai". Sherdog. Retrieved 2021-03-07.