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Kai-Kara France and the Future of the Flyweight Division

Kai-Kara France is fighting Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Brazil alumnus Raulian Paiva at UFC 234 in Melbourne. He is currently the 14th ranked flyweight in the UFC after a very impressive showing against Pettis brother protegé Elias Garcia in Adelaide back in December.

A post shared by Kai "Dontblink" Kara France (@kaikarafrance) on Feb 7, 2019 at 5:04pm PST

In that fight, France showed a vast improvement from the last time strictly UFC fans had seen him, which had been on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter, in which France competed but did not win the competition. Against Garcia, the most notable attribute of France’s game was his speed. France did an excellent job of cutting off the octagon and utilizing quick, short range shots to stun Garcia, which resulted in France registering multiple knockdowns over the course of what would end up being a lopsided, 3-round decision win. The impressive performance garnered a great deal of praise and included many people making comparisons between his skill set and its similarities to that of current UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw.

A post shared by Kai "Dontblink" Kara France (@kaikarafrance) on Jan 25, 2019 at 8:00pm PST

Regardless of all the praise France has garnered since that performance in December, there is a narrative that surrounds his division that not even the champion Henry Cejudo can quell. It is beginning to look more and more likely that the UFC will disband the men’s flyweight division, this after releasing top 10 contenders like Dustin Ortiz, John Moraga, Brandon Moreno, Ben Nguyen, and Matheus Nicolau, along with a great deal of others, while other staples of the division, like Sergio Pettis and Louis Smolka, have already relocated a division higher at bantamweight, presumably for good. There are many arguments that can be made to keep or disband the division, which, since the famous Demetrious Johnson trade to ONE Championship in October have been in full swing. However, it should go without saying that the UFC seems to be acting completely unfairly to all of these flyweight fighters. Every flyweight fight has turned into a faux “life or death” match since every flyweight loser since the Johnson trade has been removed from the rankings and released the following week.

A post shared by Kai "Dontblink" Kara France (@kaikarafrance) on Feb 6, 2019 at 6:30pm PST

The majority of the hardcore MMA community undoubtedly wants the division to stay, but unfortunately, it appears that WME’s desire to get refunded on that $4 billion purchase as soon as possible will be at the expense of many talented flyweights, many of whom will lose their opportunity to fight in the big show altogether.

A post shared by Kai "Dontblink" Kara France (@kaikarafrance) on Feb 4, 2019 at 8:21pm PST

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