The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
Undefeated in the new year, Prelim Breakout Star looks to a hometown hero to keep it going. If the flyweights are going to stay alive, they need exciting young prospects like this kid right here. Check out why you shouldn’t miss his fight.
Nickname – Don’t Blink
Affiliation – City Kickboxing
From – Auckland, New Zealand
Height – 5’5″
Weight – 125 lbs (Flyweight)
Record – 18-7 (1-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
The nickname really says it all – Kara-France is insanely fast. Although we’ve come to expect that from just about every flyweight in the UFC, Kara-France really does set himself apart. On the flyweight season of The Ultimate Fighter, he won his opening round matchup by 30-second KO over Terrence Mitchell. In his first UFC bout, he may not have gotten the finish as fast, but he did show off how quick he moves in and out of range. His darting baffled Elias Garcia and led to an easy win on the cards for Kara-France.
Why he has been overlooked
On The Ultimate Fighter, Kara-France was eliminated by current #7 flyweight, Alexandre Pantoja. After that loss, he was not invited to fight on the finale. So while he may have gained some popularity on the show, it then took two and a half years for him to get his shot. As a result, few still remembered him. Though if he has performances like his last time out, it won’t take long for others to get behind him.
What makes this a good match-up
Raulian Paiva is coming off of a Contender Series win over Allen Nascimento, which landed him this fight. That win brought him to 18-1 in his career. However, the vast majority of them come over low-level regional talent. Although Kara-France is only 25 years old, he’s more experienced than all but one of Paiva’s opponents. When this inevitable turns into a firefight, expect Kara-France’s experience and poise to be the difference-maker.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 164-68-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)
View the original article on MMA Manifesto: UFC 234 Prelim Breakout Star: Kai Kara-France