New Zealand’s Kai Cara-France is adamant he has one more shot at the UFC flyweight title left, a process he will launch against Alex Perez with the duo to face off at UFC 284 in Perth on Feb. 12.

Cara France spent little time thinking about the “what if” after his third-round TKO loss to Brandon Moreno in July, the loss that brought City Kickboxing to a halt. [CKB] the star’s three-win streak and, at least for now, his flyweight title chase.

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“It’s one of those hard-to-swallow pills because we were winning the fight,” Cara France told Sportzshala. “I take a lot of positive things out of it, because knowing that we were next to one of the best guys [in the division], the game plan worked and we hurt him. It’s just one of those things I want to go back there and do it all over again.

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“Moreno played well with a liver shot, after I cut him he got more assertive and aggressive and then found the right shot. But we took away a lot from it, like just the experience of fighting for [an interim] a world title, more pressure on you, a fight in front of 30,000 people and they all go against you. It all adds up to the story and it’s just a good experience that I can take on board and prepare for the next time.

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“I have another title fight ahead of me, I have a few more years of fighting in this body. And now I have to take that first step on February 12th after the defeat and it’s a great match in front of me.”

When asked to describe Moreno’s sensations from a blow to the liver, Cara-France said that he seemed to be “paralyzed.”

“I couldn’t breathe for about two minutes, your body was shutting down; mentally in my head I was saying ‘you’re cute, you’re cute’, but my body, I didn’t control it,” he explained. “So when he was on me I was just protecting my body and then 30 seconds after the referee stopped him I was still gasping for air. Then you come up and think, “I can keep fighting,” but apparently the referee has already stopped. the battle.

“If you look at both of us after the fight, one guy will be bruised and cut. [Moreno]and the other guy just rolled up. But this is the game we play, it’s a game of inches and I live to fight another day. But like I said, there was a lot to learn from this fight and we’re moving on to the next one.”

Such is the CCB machine, Cara France wouldn’t have had the opportunity to sulk even if he wanted to. With eight fighters in the UFC and many more preparing to fight in other promotions in various martial disciplines, the focus is quickly shifting to helping your teammates get ready.

And the events are not much bigger than UFC 281 in New York, which featured four CKB fighters, including the highly anticipated bout between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, which the Brazilian won with a stunning final-round TKO.

“It’s a spinning machine that doesn’t stop, we just got back from New York last week and are supporting the guys on this map,” Cara France told Sportzshala. “The boys were going to two wins out of four, but it was just inspiring to be in the Mecca of fighting in sports at Madison Square Garden, so many historical fights took place there.

“I just took this moment of gratitude and thought, wow, four guys from our team are fighting here, we had the key to the city. So I really got fired up after I got home from that trip and I can’t wait to get to work over the Christmas period and then put on a show for all the friends and family in this part of the world because I know that they missed it.”

With almost no tickets left for the UFC’s return to Down Under, 284 cards boast a roster matching the promotion’s first Australian event since October 2019.

Cara France says a huge local crowd will gather at the RAC Arena to cheer on the Australian and New Zealand fighters, while those visiting from overseas will be able to experience some of the hardships faced by athletes from his part of the world. deal with past years.

“We’re going to put on a show for everyone who missed it; we didn’t have a show [Down Under] because of COVID,” Cara France told Sportzshala. “Now the circle is complete, they are excited and ready to support us in the battle and let all these other fighters feel what we had to do; traveling half the world, getting used to the difference in time, all these things come into play.

“So they can do it this time and we don’t have to deal with it.”

Knowing a win could put him back in contention for the title, Cara-France says the need to train over the Christmas period won’t be a distraction – the Kiwi is determined to resume his flyweight title chase against the fighter he was originally supposed to face with three lots years ago.

“He has a similar background, he has 24 wins on his record, he was a title contender and he is a father, so there are a lot of things that fit well when the UFC said we want you on this card, but we want, to a match that makes sense,” Cara France said of Perez. “He’s a guy who’s right there [in the rankings] also, so I’m not going to take this fight lightly.

“Stylistically he is a good wrestler, he has good jiu-jitsu and he has an aggressive standing style. I love this challenge and his style suits me well. come to me, because I can try to catch them.

“I don’t watch too many fight shots, I leave that to my coaches, but I will give it my all for the next 10 weeks during the Christmas break. We won’t really stop at all, it’s a kind of sacrifice you make when you fight in January or early February. But you can have a vacation after that, and that’s the plan.

“Go win a spectacular victory in front of my friends and family and then go on vacation.”