Three matchups pitting locals against foreign opponents in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's third trip to the most populous city in New Zealand.
On Wednesday, Kai Kara-France (20-8, 1 NC) posted on Instagram that he will be taking on Tyson Nam (18-10-1) in the flyweight division at UFC Auckland. The event will take place on Feb. 22 in Auckland, New Zealand, at the Spark Arena. A cracking lightweight matchup will headline the show, as Paul Felder takes on Dan Hooker in a bout that could place the winner among the top 5 in the division.
Of the bout, Kara-France wrote: "We bringing the dream home! Since I started my martial arts journey fighting in my home town Auckland for the @ufc was the goal! Feb 23rd 2020 I get to make that happen! Ready to do this for my people! Get your tickets ASAP! #teamdontblink #ufc #auckland"
Auckland native Kara-France dropped a narrow decision to Brandon Moreno at UFC 245 to snap an eight-fight win streak that saw him beat Mark De La Rosa and Raulian Paiva along the way. The former "The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions" cast member went unsigned by the organization after losing in the quarterfinals to current top contender Alexandre Pantoja. Instead, the Kiwi rebounded from a defeat to Tatsumitsu Wada in Rizin Fighting Federation with five consecutive victories to earn a spot on the Las Vegas-based promotion's roster.
Nam too had a lengthy trek to get signed by the UFC, competing for World Series of Fighting, Fight Nights Global and even EliteXC throughout his career. A two-win stretch in the Hawaiian X-1 promotion that saw him capture the flyweight crown earned him a short-notice spot at UFC Fight Night 159 in September. Nam was ultimately unsuccessful in his debut appearance, dropping a decision to former UFC contender Sergio Pettis.
Additionally, on Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Callan Potter (18-8) would be locking horns with Kenan Song (15-5) at welterweight. Finally, Jamie Mullarkey (12-3) will go head-to-head at lightweight with Jalin Turner (8-5).