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Just a few short months ago, it seemed that the UFC flyweight division was not for long. A rash of sudden top talent cuts left the division without the proper numbers to even fill out the top 15. Then Henry Cejudo claimed a second title and an influx of new, and old, talent rushed in the door seemingly bringing the division back to life.
For UFC Shenzhen’s Kai Kara-France, it was a huge relief.
“We didn’t really have any job security. It was out of my control, so one thing I had to focus on was just keeping my head down and not looking at too much, and just hope for a next fight,” said Kara-France. “Now it’s an exciting time, I feel like that matchups in the flyweight division are all exciting.”
However, with all of that being said, there is the obvious elephant in the room. Although he won two belts and at least seems to have reinvigorated the UFC brass into believing the the division again, Kara-France feels that they need to capitalize on that excitement.
“There’s some real momentum now with Cejudo winning the belt and having two belts,” he said. “But I feel like he needs to defend against Joseph Benavidez.”
And it’s not just the moving up in weight class that Kara-France takes issue with. Cejudo’s recent antics on social media, and even UFC broadcasts for that matter have him wishing “Triple C” would just get back to what he does best.
“He’s gone down the path where he likes to talk a lot now, and he’s a lot about the theatrics and trying to pick a fight with Valentina [Shevchenko],” he said. “But now it’s time for him to actually get back to work and defend those titles because while he’s been going up a weight class, the division is still moving.”
Amongst those moving in the division is Kara-France himself. An Ultimate Fighter contestant on the all flyweight season, Kara-France didn’t get his chance immediately after the show. After putting together an impressive streak though, he finds himself at #10 in the UFC rankings. With his ranking and his streak, there’s certainly reason to hope that the top of the division keeps moving.
“I’m on a two-fight win streak in the UFC, seven-fight win streak overall,” said Kara-France. “I’m only one or two fights away from being in title contention.”
He’ll look to make that next step in the direction of the champ this weekend on the main card of UFC Shenzhen.