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Kai Kara-France inspired by Israel Adesanya to overcame past failures and become UFC champion


Despite falling short in his first UFC title fight, Kai Kara-France has full belief he will get back to a championship opportunity — and when he does, he plans on cashing in.

The first step toward that goal takes place this Saturday when he headlines UFC Vegas 74 against surging contender Amir Albazi in a five-rounder at the UFC APEX. It will be the first appearance for Kara-France since getting stopped in the third round by now undisputed champ Brandon Moreno in an interim flyweight title fight at UFC 277 this past July.

Although the loss stung at the time, Kara-France has drawn inspiration from his teammate, UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya, for his ability to overcome adversity and come out on top.

“Moreno is a great fighter, a great champion,” Kara-France said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “He did great against [Deiveson Figueiredo]. He made it look easy, and it just showed that we were right there.

“So having a teammate like Izzy, who just beat a guy that’s beaten him three times, just reminds me that it’s possible. It’s something that I’ve never lost sight of. That’s the end goal, to be the flyweight world champion.”

Kara-France makes the walk to the octagon for the 11th time and looks to win his fourth bout in five appearances. Albazi enters his first UFC main event on the heels of a five-fight win streak, including a perfect 4-0 start to his promotional run.

While some fighters would let the bad taste from his loss to Moreno linger, Kara-France was able to let the negativity of the result melt away into the octagon mat in Dallas.

“No, I left it in the cage,” Kara-France said when asked if the loss lingered on for a long period of time. “I didn’t take it [with me]. I was proud of the camp I put together, I was winning that fight until I wasn’t, and that’s a positive that we can take away from it. It just shows that I’m right there with the best guys.

“We’ve learned from that experience, being in my first five-rounder, my first title fight. I’m older now, I’m 30, I’ve got more experience, [I’m] a lot more wiser, and yeah, we just do it again.”

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