Kai Kara-France has his sights set on the UFC flyweight title, but he’s not rushing to get there. When he gets his shot, he wants to know he belongs there.
Kara-France takes on fellow contender Amir Albazi in the main event of UFC Vegas 74 on Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas in a bout that could have major championship implications for the UFC’s 125-pound division.
The 30-year-old challenged for the vacant interim flyweight title back in July 2022, but lost out to Brandon Moreno, who went on to unify the titles and continues to reign over the division today. Given that history between the pair, a title rematch would certainly carry some intrigue, if Kara-France can get himself in position to challenge the Mexican.
Despite that narrative bubbling under the surface, Kara-France says he’s not letting any title talk cloud his focus as he prepares to face Albazi, who enters the weekend with 16-1 career resume and an unblemished record under the UFC banner.
“All I can do is go out and there and show my worth and show what I’m capable of,” Kara-France told reporters ahead of the bout.
“I’m not here to rush back into a title fight. I’m just here to show everyone why I deserve it.”
Kara-France is ranked third at 125 pounds, with Albazi a little way down the list, in seventh. But, despite the gap between the pair on the rankings sheet, the Kiwi says he has the right man opposite him on the bout list this weekend.
“Amir was the guy who was closest to my ranking and available, so these contenders that are on win streaks with momentum and hype, they want to take my spot,” Kara-France said.
“I’m number three, and I welcome it. I want to fight the best guys. He’s a great fighter, he’s a great grappler, great wrestler. He’s got momentum, but I’m here to take all that. I’m here to show him that there’s levels to this and that’s what I’m going to be doing on Saturday.”
The bout represents the first time Kara-France has competed since that interim title fight loss to Moreno, and he’s additionally motivated by the desire to get back in the win column. But, despite his loss to “The Assassin Baby,” he said his performance showed that he deserves to be in the upper echelon of the UFC’s flyweight division.
“There’s a lot of positives we can take away from that last fight where it showed we’re right there with the best guys,” he said.
“We’ve taken away positives, we’ve worked on stuff that we need to, and I left that in the cage. I don’t take it with me. I’ve been a person to just go again. That’s been my whole career. I just keep turning up for myself and we keep building and progressing.
“I’ve taken losses before and I know how to build myself back up. I’m looking forward to reminding everyone and showing why I deserve to have another title shot.”