ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has reported that former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has been booked to face Kai Kara-France in a flyweight bout. That contest is expected to take place at a UFC Fight Night event on December 11.
Other than a lone featherweight bout in 2013, and a catchweight bout brought on by an opponent missing weight, Garbrandt’s entire career has been fought at 135 lbs. In 2020 Garbrandt was booked to face then-flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo. However, that fight fell through after Garbrandt withdrew due to serious symptoms caused by COVID-19.
Once medically cleared Garbrandt returned to action this May, as a bantamweight, and lost to Rob Font by unanimous decision.
City Kickboxing’s Kai Kara-France was a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions season in 2016. He was not signed immediately after that show and instead competed for RIZIN and other promotions in Asia and Oceania.
In 2018 the Kiwi was signed by the UFC to face Elias Garcia in Adelaide. He won by unanimous decision. He won his next two fights, too, versus Raulian Paiva and Mark De La Rosa.
In 2019 he lost a unanimous decision to current champion Brandon Moreno. He rebounded from that loss with a win over Tyson Nam. However, that win was followed by a submission loss to Brandon Royval. This March France got back in the win column with a KO over Rogerio Bontorin.
Garbrandt started his MMA career with a 11-0 run that included UFC wins over Thomas Almeida and Takeya Mizugaki. That streak was capped with a unanimous decision victory over Dominick Cruz in 2016 to claim the UFC bantamweight title.
In 2017, during his first title defence, Garbrandt was knocked out by former training partner T.J. Dillashaw. Garbrandt was awarded a rematch against Dillashaw the following year. He lost that bout by TKO. In 2019 Garbrandt was knocked out by Pedro Munhoz.
At UFC 250 last year Garbrandt scored a KO win over Raphael Assuncao.
The location for the UFC’s December 11 card has not yet been revealed. So far Garbrandt vs. France is the only match-up named to that event.