Kai Kara-France is eager to make his return to the Octagon on March 26th. He’ll be standing opposite the unbeaten Russian contender Askar Askarov – the pair slated as the co-main event for UFC Columbus.
The winner of the three-round bout will likely determine the next challenger for the UFC flyweight championship belt, currently held by Deiveson Figueiredo.
Before the matchup was officially announced, the Twitter profile of one Askar Askarov began actively mentioning Kara-France in some provocative posts immediately after he had knocked out Cody Garbrandt at UFC 269.
“That’s just the game,” Kara-France told The AllStar. “Everyone wants a piece when the spotlight’s on you… Straight away [Askarov] was tweeting to me after I beat Cody…”
When speaking on the nature of those tweets and his opinion on them, “Don’t Blink” wasn’t convinced it was Askarov behind the screen and pointed towards a more likely candidate for the online tirade.
“I don’t feel like it’s him,” the Kara-France claimed. “I feel like it’s his manager… I know his English wouldn’t be, you know, as slick as his tweets have been… I can kind of feel a bit of Ali in his tweets.”
Unphased by the Twitter exchanges, the City Kickboxing staple believes it’s all well and good talking in the fight game, but it’s whether or not you can back it up that counts.
“I don’t need to talk…This is the beautiful thing about fighting – we’re going to find out eventually… with Askarov saying he’s going to kill me and [all that] – okay try it. I welcome it.”
The New Zealand native believes he could have potentially sat out and waited for a title shot, having already had the current flyweight champ Figueiredo already ask for that fight. But he and his team preferred the idea of keeping busy. It’s this recent activity that Kara-France believes works to his advantage – in this bout in particular,
“Askarov is the one that hasn’t fought in a while, coming off a few injuries I guess… A bit of a layoff, missed weight in his last fight – so you know, the pressure’s on him.”
Never one to overlook his opponents, however, he’s is well aware of how dangerous of a threat Askarov can be.
“He’s got a lot of tools in his and his arsenal,” Kara-France admitted. “He’s a great grappler, good wrestler, solid stand up… But everyone’s beatable, everyone has holes in their game… The one thing that separates us is if you’re able to exploit that and find a target [to] put them away when it’s the right time.
“That’s a massive thing that you have to kind of learn that in the fight game.”
The 28-year-old Kara-France believes he has Askarov covered in that regard.
“I think I might have the edge over Askar, you know – having a lot of finishes in my career already, just knowing when to turn it on…”
Though the Kiwi realizes there are countless scenarios that could potentially play out on March 26th, he believes regardless of the hype behind his opponent he’ll find a way to secure the victory, and the number one contender’s spot that likely comes along with it.
“Once I start to touch him, he’ll realize ‘okay I don’t want to do this – I gotta get this guy to the ground’. But then just get to get me to the ground, you know, I’ve got one of the best scrambles [in the UFC].
“I welcome the challenge, I want him to wrestle me, I want him to try to get me to the ground and make me stay there, so once I get past this guy there’s no excuse, you know, [nobody will] be saying ‘he hasn’t fought an elite wrestler’ [anymore].”
Kai “Don’t Blink” Kara France is a 28 year old male fighter from New Zealand with 23 pro wins and 9 losses. Kara France is scheduled to fight Askar Askarov at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Daukaus on Saturday March 26, 2022.
Kai Kara-France’s recent form coming into this matchup
Kai Kara-France has gone 3-2 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Cody Garbrandt • KO/TKO R1 3:21 • 2021-12-11
- Win vs Rogério Bontorin • KO/TKO R1 4:55 • 2021-03-06
- Loss vs Brandon Royval • Submission R2 0:48 • 2020-09-26
- Win vs Tyson Nam • Decision R3 5:00 • 2020-02-22
- Loss vs Brandon Moreno • Decision R3 5:00 • 2019-12-14
Kai Kara-France’s next opponent: Askar “Bullet” Askarov
Askar “Bullet” Askarov’s recent form coming into this matchup
Askar “Bullet” Askarov is a 29 year old male fighter from Russia with 14 pro wins and 0 losses. Askarov is scheduled to fight Kai Kara-France at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Daukaus on Saturday March 26, 2022.
Askar Askarov has gone 4-0-1 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Joseph Benavidez • Decision R3 5:00 • 2021-03-06
- Win vs Alexandre Pantoja • Decision R3 5:00 • 2020-07-18
- Win vs Tim Elliott • Decision R3 5:00 • 2020-01-18
- Draw vs Brandon Moreno • Decision R3 5:00 • 2019-09-21
- Win vs Rasul Albaskhanov • Submission R2 1:59 • 2018-05-05
How to watch and bet on Kai Kara-France vs Askar Askarov
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