Kara-France remains undefeated in UFC after Shenzhen victory
No stranger to winning in China, Kai Kara-France extends his win streak to eight with unaimous decision over Mark De La Rosa
New Zealand’s Kai Kara-France (19-7) is an undefeated 3-0 in UFC on an overall 7 fight win streak. His opponent Mark De La Rosa (11-2) is an even 2-2 in the promotion with his only professional losses occurring at the UFC level. He was on a 9 fight win streak until meeting Tim Elliott in his UFC debut. The once serial winner De La Rosa will try to steal some momentum from a surging Kara-France as they both campaign to break into the top half of the Flyweight rankings. Steve Perceval is the official for this match up at 125lbs.
The first round is a fairly even striking exchange until Mark has a perfectly time shot and pushes Kai into the clinch upon the fence. Mark buckles the seatbelt and begins dragging Kai down. Kai turns it around and lifts Mark from a single leg and slammed him onto his back.
Mark abandons the grappling and the exchange returns standing to the center. Mark continues his favored spinning kicks, although ineffective. Mark does catch kai with a counter combo as the both circle the center of the octagon. It’s a close round but Kai a slight edge with the leg kicks and take down defense.
Kai opens the second with a stunning right hand that drops Mark onto his back. Kai cuts into his guard for a dangerous ground and pound but Mark escapes to reply with his won explosive shots. Kai kicks the legs out from under Mark and strikes again from above him. With the fight now wide open, Kai is striking at will.
His combos are creative and find Mark exposed. Kai’s kicks remain his path to success as he slowly works his way kicking up Mark’s body. First the lead leg, then the body followed by the head shot. Kai has landed 14-14 kicks and is still slightly outpacing Mark with his hands. Mark is never far behind as Kai opens up under his eye and begins to bleed, but in this second round Kai maintains the close lead he started the round with.
Both are looking for a statement third round as Kai looks to pull farther ahead on the cards, but Mark might need a finish if he is to win the bout. Both fighters now respect each others power, but also trust their ability to eat the power grazes and connections, as they fire off lightning quick counters. It’s almost as if they are setting up their combos by eating one. Kai delivers a body shot sending Mark into the fence, pummeling him with his fists and flying knees to the body.
After the maelstrom subsides, Mark taunts him on asking for more as he calmly walks towards him. Kai continues putting his whole weight behind heavy kicks, peppering in the occasional superman punch. Every time Mark expects the kick to the leg it goes to the body, but it doesn’t stop his willingness to keep the distance short.
Both fighters are showing damage to the face, but Kai has pulled much farther ahead with significant strikes. Kai ducks a high kick in the waning moments of the fight, turning and saluting the crowd as it goes over his head. Mark looks disappointed in his corner as they clean up for the scorecards. Bruce Buffer announces the (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) unanimous decision victory for Kai Kara-France.