Kiwi Kai Kara-France added to UFC 234 event in Melbourne

Kara-France impressed in his UFC debut.
Kara-France impressed in his UFC debut. Photo credit: Instagram/@itskiwirob

Kiwi UFC flyweight Kai Kara-France will look to capitalise on the momentum gained from his debut win when he takes on Raulian Paiva at UFC 234 in Melbourne next February.

On Sunday, Kara-France confirmed the quick turnaround from his victory in Adelaide to the Rod Laver Arena where he'll fight alongside City Kickboxing stablemate Israel Adesanya, who continues his rapid ascent with a marquee co-main event clash against the great Anderson Silva.

The 25-year-old earned Fight of the Night honours for his electric unanimous decision win over Elias Garcia last Sunday, turning plenty of heads in the process, and the opportunity to get straight back into the Octagon is precisely what he was looking for.

"This is exactly what I wanted," Kara-France told Stuff. 

"Before Adelaide my last fight was in March and that's a six-month layoff. Even though you can say it doesn't affect you, there is a bit of ring rust when you've had that time off. So, to get a quick turnaround is ideal because you know the feeling.

"I'll be training through Christmas and New Year with Israel and hopefully a few more of the boys from City Kickboxing. We'll continue doing the work through the holidays, get the win and then we can go on holiday after that."

His opponent Paiva (18-1) will be making his promotional debut after shining in the Brazilian version of UFC boss Dana White's Contender series – a proving ground for rising talent.

It will be the 18-1 fighter's first bout since his girlfriend was killed after a motorcycle the two were riding was struck by a car. Paiva suffered no serious injuries.

He's currently riding a 12-fight win streak, but Kara-France is undaunted by the numbers.

"He's got a good record but if you look at the guys he's fought, he hasn't faced the calibre of guys that I have," he told Stuff.

"He doesn't really have a specialty. He's got 12 decisions on his record, he's durable but he's got some holes and I think I have the skill-set to put him away once he feels my power and my pressure on top."

The card will be headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum.