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Kai
Kara-France

UFC and MMA fighter

Profile

Kai Kara-France has been a professional MMA fighter since 2010 and in 2018, he started fighting for the biggest company and platform in the world, the UFC.

Current work
Kai made his UFC debut in 2018 in Adelaide, Australia where he won by decision and ended up getting the Fight of the Night bonus (USD$50K). As of 2022, Kai is ranked #3 in the UFC flyweight rankings.
Outside of MMA, Kai has been working on some exciting collabs in the clothing space, learning Te Reo and on our screens as a host and has an upcoming TV series.

Background
For Kai, it’s been a long and tough road to get to where he is now - overcoming bullying and making the difficult decision to drop out of university to pursue his passion for MMA.
“MMA is a brutal sport where you’re loved when you’re at the top of your game, and forgotten about after taking one loss. The whole reason I started fighting was to build self-confidence. I was bullied a lot at school for being the short/small guy. Now my high school bullies are my biggest fans and I fight professionally for a living. It was a scary step to go and train over in Thailand when I was 18. I ended up winning a full years’ scholarship to train at Tiger Muay Thai where I could sleep and breath my training.”

Kai spent four years living in Thailand, fought in 13 different countries and racked up multiple wins and titles.

He was selected for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Season 24, filmed in Las Vegas. After the show finished, he fought on a big show in Japan.
After this, he moved home to New Zealand (NZ) to train at City Kickboxing with head coach Eugene Bareman.
“This was one of the best steps I could’ve taken and made me realise the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and that if I put in the hard work here at home in NZ, I could succeed. Eugene and I formulated a plan to get me into the UFC, and after two years of hard work and being on a five fight win streak, fighting around Australia and China, I finally got the UFC contract.”

As a speaker, Kai talks about life’s ups and downs, being consistent and ‘turning up’, positive self-talk out the self-doubt and putting your best foot forward.

Expertise
Talking Points

Following your Passion and turning your Failures into Fuel to Succeed

France wants to inspire the younger generation that you can be the underdog and become successful, and that hard work and determination will help you reach dreams that may seem far-fetched.

Overcoming Bullying by Learning Martial Arts

France says that martial arts gave him the knowledge and tools to get him through life’s adversities.
Feedback
Kai was fantastic! Extremely friendly, spoke confidently and clearly as well as having the whole audience engaged the entire time. What he spoke about connected with everyone in one way or another and everyone left a big fan (if they were not already). He opened up about his professional life and journey with re-connecting to his Maori culture. He also shared some personal stories and how he overcame challenges, which everyone valued greatly. Following the talk, I had many people come up to me to let me know how great the session was and what a great guy Kai was. I and the company would recommend Kai for any speaking event in the future and am thankful for the opportunity of having him come in to speak with us! Thank you very much for helping organise! Reckitt

Kai was awesome, he was really engaging and used his own experiences to create relatable points for the audience. He also answered crown questions really well which made more people conformable to engage with him.

New Zealand Army
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