Auckland mixed martial artist Kai Kara-France still believes he has what it takes to be the best flyweight on the planet.
Kara-France returns to the Octagon this weekend to headline a UFC card for the first time.
He takes on Amir Albazi with he winner likely to earn shot at the flyweight title.
The New Zealander is coming off a loss to the champion Brandon Moreno in July last year. The City Kickboxing star said that fight could have easily gone his way.
"A lot of positives we have taken away from that last fight where it just showed we are right there the best guys. If things went a bit differently, I could be here with the belt now. It's just what happens at the highest level of sport. It is a game of inches."
Kara-France is itching for action and believes the spotlight on flyweight is long overdue.
"It's great that the flyweight division are having a main event slot because it's one of the most exciting divisions in this in the UFC and it's awesome that the UFC trust me to be able to deliver. They know that I come for finishes, I come for knockouts and I'm always an exciting fight. So it's nice that you know, the UFC see that and I get to go do that Saturday."
The 30-year-old also had bout cancelled February. He said was heartbreaking to not be available for UFC 284 in Perth.
"I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't bend over, so how am I going to get ready for a fight and and give the fans what they want to see?"
Kara-France said it has been a long road to full health.
"It was one of the things that I had neglected in my career and have just now invested back into my body, mobility, stretching. I had to rest for about two months and then could slowly build again."
His opponent is ranked seventh in the flyweight rankings and is undefeated in the UFC, his only career loss was a decision came back in 2019.
"These contenders that are on win streaks, momentum, hype, they want to take my spot at number three and I welcome it. I want to fight the best guy and show that there's levels to this."
Kara-France is predicting a quick knockout.
The fight will be at about 3.30pm Sunday (NZT).2023-06-01T18:57:24Z dg43tfdfdgfd