Mixed Martial Arts: Kai Kara-France reportedly set to fight for interim UFC flyweight title

Kai Kara-France.
Kai Kara-France. Photo credit: Photosport

Kiwi Kai Kara-France is reportedly poised for a long-awaited shot at the UFC flyweight championship.

According to veteran MMA reporter Ariel Helwani, Kara-France will square off with Brendon Moreno for the interim flyweight belt at UFC 277 on July 31.

Champion Deiveson Figueiredo was scheduled to face Moreno for a fourth time, until an injured finger put him on the shelf.

Instead, to keep the division moving, Kara-France will fight the Mexican star for a second time with an interim title on the line, with the winner advancing to face Brazilian Figueiredo to unify the belts.

The 29-year-old fought 'The Assassin Baby' at UFC 245 in December 2019, falling to a unanimous decision defeat at Las Vegas.

'Don't Blink' thrust himself into the championship reckoning with an eye-catching three-fight win streak that included showstopping first-round knockouts of Rogerio Bontorin and former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, before upsetting Askar Askarov in his most recent bout in March to climb to second in the official division rankings.

A location for the event is yet to be determined. A women's bantamweight title rematch between champion Julianna Pena and Amanada Nunes is rumoured to be the main event.

If the bout with Moreno is booked, Kara-France would become the third City Kickboxing fighter to contest a world title in July. At UFC 275, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya takes on Jared Cannonier in the main event, with Alexander Volkanovski defending his featherweight belt in a trilogy bout with Max Holloway.

After fighting to a draw in their first bout, Moreno beat Figueiredo to win the flyweight title in June, before losing via unanimous decision in their third contest in January.