Kiwi Kai Kara-France put on a devastating display as he knocked out former Bantamweight champion and divisional newcomer Cody Garbrandt.
The win puts Kara-France in the conversation for a shot at UFC Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno.
Given his reputation and easy weight cut, Garbrandt came into the fight a slight favourite over The Kiwi and the fight proved to live up to expectations for as long as it lasted.
Kara-France fought mainly on the front foot, pressuring Garbrandt while setting up his attacks by feinting with his lead hand to follow up with his right hand or left kick.
Garbrandt started to fire a right hand of his own when Kara-France came forward, but with two in a half minutes left in the first round, Kara France connected with a beautiful right hand of his own that sent Garbrandt to the canvas.
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Despite having his opponent visibly hurt, the Kiwi was strategic in his approach to finish the fight as he continued to measure his opponent and pick his shots.
After a failed takedown attempt from Garbrandt, Kara-France unloaded with a barrage of punches before dropping the former Bantamweight champion with a right hook. It then prompted referee Herb Dean to stop the fight after three minutes and 21 seconds.
When speaking to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, Kara-France made his claim for a title shot in the future.
“I told you I was going to answer a lot of questions and that’s what I did,” Kara-France said.
“I know I’m the best in the world and to take out a former champ, just puts me right in line next for the title shot.
“I’ll be watching Brandon Moreno and Figueiredo, I want the winner of that fight, 2022 you will be seeing a Flyweight world champion right here.”
When commenting on his performance, Kara-France credited his team for the win.
“This is for my teammates,” Kara-France said
“They helped me with this fight, they dedicate their bodies and sacrifice so much just to help me out, so that was for them.”
Given that the Kiwi was the sixth-ranked Flyweight in the world, we can expect him to move up when the rankings are updated on Wednesday.
Kara-France also dedicated the win to his City Kickboxing teammate Fau Vake who passed away earlier this year.
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