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Kai Kara-France feels right at home in China

New Zealand's Kai Kara-France is feeling comfortable as he prepares in Shenzhen Shi for his August 31 fight with Mark de la Rosa. The 26 year-old enjoys China, a country where the popularity of UFC continues to soar.

"I have fought in China six times, so this is all familiar to me," Kara-France explained to ESPN.

"When I was fighting here back in 2016, I remember on one show there were 30 fights on one night and they were doing this every week, which just shows you the demand is there and it is only getting bigger.

"You can feel the buzz, there has always been a rich martial arts culture over here and I think the UFC is just trying to capilitise on that."

Kara-France feels the flyweight division suits the Chinese market, as most of the local talent is coming through the lighter classes. He suggests it is his aggressive, upright approach, which really adds to his local popularity.

"China is known for its stand up martial arts, kick-boxing, karate-style, pretty much any kind of striking, so the fans like to see that kind of fighter. Action packed, really pressuring, coming forward, laying it on the line, that's what the fans like to see over here which really suits my style, I feel that's why they have put me on the main card.

"It's going to be cool to be on my first main card and hopefully I can deliver what the Chinese fans want."

Kara-France isn't looking past this fight, but knows a good result can move him up the rankings and hopefully see him on the UFC 243 card at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium. The short five-week turn-around a prospect he actually favours.

"If everything goes to plan and I get the win and no injuries, I would love to be on the UFC 243 card," Kara-France said.

"I would love to jump straight back into camp. It is easier to keep fit, than to get fit. If you stop your conditioning work, you have to start it back again, I would actually prefer a shorter turn-around."

"It is much easier to keep the engine running and just go again. I'm in this sport to make money and I want to get to the belt eventually and I feel the best way to do that is to keep active.

"This is just my third UFC fight, and I'm just riding the wave at the moment, living in the moment. I get to do the best job in the world, traveling the world, so I'm loving it and I love representing New Zealand on the world stage."

There is a support team behind every professional fighter and Kara-France puts a lot of trust in his coaches to scope out an opponent and compile a fight plan, something that is very fluid once the fight starts.

"My coaches are the ones that watch all the fights and do all the homework, I kind of look over what they've found, looking for habits and things that my opponent does well and stuff that we can exploit. It's the full team behind me that has an input into this, not just me winging it, which is why I come into my fights pretty confident knowing that I have so many intelligent guys putting all this work into getting me ready.

"When I make that walk up to the octagon, I have all their plans and strategies in mind, but when you get in the cage and you get hit once, it can all go out the window and you just kind of have to go on instinct, stick to your guns and back yourself."

While Kara-France is relatively new to UFC, he has nearly twice as many fights overall than his opponent, which he hopes will give him an edge in experience during this fight.

"I want this to be a high-action fight, I want to see what he is going to do, not be too set in my game plan, just let it all happen and keep coming forward. I know I am going to show my whole game."

"My preparation for this fight has been very good... from when I signed the contract my life has revolved around this fight, all I can really think about is my appointment, preparing the best I can, there is no easy fight in the UFC and I set high standards."

"I've been enjoying my five weeks here, it has all been kind of smooth sailing, reconnecting with people that I met years ago when I fought over here, seeing familiar faces, some opponents that I've fought before, it's good to be back."