UFC 269 took MMA fans around the world for an emotional rollercoaster this past Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. To say the jam-packed card delivered would be an understatement.
Amanda Nunes was dethroned in incredible fashion, and Charles Oliviera defended his belt against a man in Dustin Poirier that many considered the greatest Lightweight in the world. Sean O’Malley continued the “Suga Show” and took out a very tough Raulian Paiva in the very first round, and Tai Tuivasa notched one of the most brutal knockouts in recent memory. In the midst of all this, perhaps one of the most impressive performances of the night went under-the-radar.
New Zealand native and City Kickboxing’s star 125-pounder Kai Kara-France put together undoubtedly the biggest win of his young career. Since losing to the current 125-pound champ, Brandon Moreno, Kara-France is 3-1 with his sole loss coming from a Brandon Royval guillotine early in the second round. “Don’t Blink” proved his nickname correct with a first-round knockout of Cody Garbrandt in his first fight since moving down from 135 pounds after his loss to Rob Font.
Kara-France will most likely have to string together at least one more win before a title shot, but a decisive KO victory over a UFC legend like Garbrandt is exactly what “Don’t Blink” needs to catapult him to the top of the Flyweight division. Kara France absorbed just nine total strikes, so hopefully, we can see him return to the Octagon soon.
If KKF can complete the climb to the top, he would be CKB’s third UFC champion, following in the footsteps of fellow Kiwis Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski. Only time will tell, but it feels that we may have the makings for a rematch between Moreno and Kara-France for the Flyweight belt in 2022.