"He was winning that fight" - John McCarthy insists Kai Kara-France was beating Brandon Moreno before the finish, heaps praise on both flyweights

(From left to right) Kai Kara-France, Brandon Moreno, and John McCarthy
(From left to right) Kai Kara-France, Brandon Moreno, and John McCarthy

‘Big’ John McCarthy has asserted that Kai Kara-France was ahead in the striking game against Brandon Moreno before the TKO stoppage of their interim UFC flyweight title matchup at UFC 277 on July 30.

Moreno won the thrilling fight by stopping Kara-France via TKO courtesy of a beautiful liver kick in the third round. Moreno is now 2-0 against Kara-France, having previously beaten him via unanimous decision in 2019.

In an edition of the Weighing In podcast, former MMA referee John McCarthy and former UFC lightweight fighter Josh Thomson addressed the aforesaid fight. McCarthy lauded both flyweights and stated:

“You’ve gotta love both guys. I love Kai Kara-France, and I love his attitude, and I love what he was trying to do in there. At times, man, he was winning that fight – Beautiful sticking and moving, good accuracy. He had power. He made Brandon Moreno respect him.”

Praising Mexico’s Moreno for his toughness, John McCarthy indicated that Mexican fighters are well-known for their otherworldly toughness. McCarthy and Thomson suggested that, akin to Mexican boxers who are widely feared for their body shots with respect to punches, Moreno showcased an exceptional kick to the body, in his case, a liver kick. McCarthy added:

“It was competitive throughout. It was a good fight. And then, Kai Kara-France opened up a nice cut with that elbow. There was a lot of things going on. I actually thought that at the point where, just before that [liver kick] happened, I thought Brandon was starting to press a little too much. I thought Kai Kara-France actually had the fight going the way he wanted it to be going.”

Watch McCarthy discuss the topic at 32:24 in the video below:


A closer look at Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France scorecards at UFC 277

Presently, the consensus is that interim UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno will face UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo in a title unification matchup next.

With that being said, Kai Kara-France put forth a statement in the aftermath of his loss to Brandon Moreno, warning that he’s far from done. The New Zealand fighter has vowed to return stronger than ever and believes he’s still one of the best flyweights in the world.

Intriguingly, the official scorecards prove how closely-contested their fight was. After the completion of the first two rounds, one judge had the fight 20-18 for Moreno whereas the other had it 20-18 for Kara-France. Meanwhile, the third judge had it at 19-19.

Needless to say, the fight was razor-close before its sudden end. Considering the aforementioned variables at play, it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that Moreno and Kara-France could potentially face off in a trilogy fight down the line.

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Edited by Allan Mathew