Kiwi UFC title contender Kai Kara-France identifies NRL stars who could make it in the octagon – and how Israel Adesanya taught him an important lesson about fighting
- UFC star will take inspiration from Israel Adesanya
- Kara-France take on undefeated Amir Albazi this weekend
- Kiwi reveals Warriors players who could succeed in MMA
UFC star Kai Kara-France draws inspiration and inspiration from teammate Israel Adesanya’s energy in his fight this weekend – after coaching New Zealand side Warriors NRL in the art to beat people.
Kara-France headlines UFC Vegas 74 this weekend against rising contender Amir Albazi in the Kiwi’s first appearance since losing a title fight to Brandon Moreno.
The powerhouse flyweight says it’s hard not to be inspired by his City Kickboxing teammate Adesanya, who recently reclaimed the middleweight crown from bitter rival Alex Pereira.
Kara-France, who is also the wrestling coach of New Zealand side Warriors NRL, recently took Adesanya for a training session with the club.
“He helped me train,” explained Kara-France.
“He told everyone about his losses and how he was beaten by a guy three times and then came back and beat him on the fourth – he never gave up hope.
Kai Kara-France draws inspiration from teammate Israel Adesanya for next fight
Kara-France, who is also the wrestling coach of New Zealand side Warriors NRL, recently took Adesanya to a training session with the club (pictured)
“Supporting each other and believing in yourself is so important. It’s definitely inspiring and it touches you. I use this energy for my camp.
Kara-France will be looking to channel Adesanya’s self-confidence against the unbeaten Albazi, who many see as a future title contender.
‘The thing that makes it [Albazi] the most dangerous thing is that he is confident,” explains Kara-France.
I have to empty this right away when we walk in there.
“I will remind him that if he wants to get to the belt, he has to pull off the best – and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
“I’m ready for five rounds, but if I find the target early, I’ll end it.” It’s muscle memory.
The fight with Albazi will be his eleventh trip to the Octagon, and it’s fair to say he’s looked more comfortable each time.
He has won four of his last five games and his life away from sport also brings him fulfillment.
Kara-France (pictured with partner Chardae and their son Cobi) headlines UFC Vegas 74 this weekend against rising contender Amir Albazi
Kara-France enjoys coaching the Warriors and says more than a few could be successful in MMA
Kara-France hopes to help the Warriors with her wrestling and MMA knowledge, especially after their disappointing 2022 season.
“I’m out there most weeks adding value where I can,” Kara-France said.
“It’s just great to be in this space and see the progression. See it in the field and build it week by week.
“There is life after the fights and who knows – I could see my career in this space.”
When asked if any of the Warriors could be successful in MMA, Kara-France had no doubts in her mind.
“If you look at Alex Volkanovski, that’s where he started – playing football,” he said.
‘There are a few warriors who could easily be transferred. Just weird athletes who could do anything. Guys like Shaun Johnson and Addin Fonua-Blake. There are a few.