Friday, August 12, 2022

Kara-France Expects Hostile Crowd At UFC 277

Kai Kara-France isn’t counting on a warm reception from the fans when he enters the cage tonight at UFC 277 in Dallas, Texas.

The 29-year-old is set to take on former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno for the UFC’s interim flyweight title in the night’s co-main event. The fight will also be a rematch of their 2019 meeting, which Moreno won via unanimous decision.

Speaking at the UFC 277 media day, Kara-France expressed confidence in a win but also noted the proximity of Dallas to Moreno’s home country of Mexico.

“I’ve got the momentum,” Kara-France said. “I plan on walking into hostile territory Saturday night. You know, this is close to Mexico being in Texas, in Dallas, Texas, so I welcome it. I want to feed off the energy. I love that pressure, that’s where I thrive. So I can’t wait to get my hand raised come Saturday.”

“I’ll Never Count Myself Out”

Kara-France picked up arguably the most impressive win of his career last March when he earned a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Askar Askarov. That was the New Zealander’s third straight victory after he previously knocked out Rogério Bontorin and Cody Garbrandt, both in the first round.

When asked if he has any concerns about the fans being against him on Saturday, “Don’t Blink” sounded as if he was looking forward to the possibility.

“I don’t take it personal. I welcome it, you know? Boo me. You wanna see me lose, I thrive in that. That’s what my opponents did that was their downfall. When they overlooked me, underestimated me, and counted me out. I’ll never count myself out. I’m always in the fight, even if I’m breathing, I’m still in it.

“I know everyone back home in New Zealand and Australia are gonna be watching this and they’re gonna be tuning in, and I plan on being the next, the third world title holder at City Kickboxing.”

Kara-France won a unanimous decision over Askar Askarov in March. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

While Kara-France has proven he’s deserving of a shot at the flyweight title, the circumstances that led to the UFC creating an interim belt may take a little shine off of this bout for some fans.

After fighting to a draw at UFC 256, Moreno submitted Deiveson Figueiredo in their rematch at UFC 263 to win the flyweight title. Figueiredo reclaimed the belt at UFC 270 earlier this year, and it seemed a fourth fight was inevitable until the UFC elected to book an interim title fight instead.

Kara-France and Moreno will battle in the co-main event of UFC 277, while the event is headlined by another rematch between women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes.

Keep it locked right here on MMANews.com for continued coverage of UFC 277.

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