It’s finally happening, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt is making his debut at 125-pounds.
Garbrandt will move down in weight and will be tasked with taking on CityKickboxing’s Kai Kara-France. The bout is scheduled to take place on December 11. As of this writing, it is unclear where the event will take place. News of the pairing was first announced by ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto on Monday night.
Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) is headed to a new weight class. UFC finalizing Garbrandt’s flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France (@kaikarafrance) for an event on Dec. 11, per sources. pic.twitter.com/Vni5pZL9Vp
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 3, 2021
After struggling with some unresolved COVID-19 after-effects, Garbrandt returned to action in May where he lost a competitive unanimous decision to the #4-ranked Rob Font. Garbrandt had a few moments in the five-round affair but was mostly outgunned by the younger striker. Prior to the dog fight with Font, Garbrandt got back in the win column after a blistering right hook finished Raphael Assunção.
The scoring knockout punch was thrown from the hip, and as “No Love” launched the hook, Assunção struggled to react and evade the strike. There was a lot of speculation that Garbrandt would make the move down to 125-pounds to fight Deiveson Figueiredo, although lingering COVID-19 after-effects kept the bantamweight from moving down a weight class in a healthy manner.
The 28-year old Kara-France will return to action after picking up the biggest win of his career. The flyweight took on Rogério Bontorin and scored his first TKO/knockout finish within the UFC promotion back in early March. As one of Israel Adesanya’s training partners, Kara-France brings a unique flair and style to the Octagon. The New Zealand native will definitely attract a big crowd if he is able to get past an established name like Garbrandt come winter season.
As it stands, Cody Garbrandt vs. Kai Kara-France is the first bout to be added to the Dec.11 card, but if any news develops, AllAccess MMA will keep you up to date.
Do you think Cody Garbrandt will be successful in his flyweight debut?