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Kai Kara-France vs. Askar Askarov targeted for March 26 UFC event

MMA: UFC 269-Garbrandt vs France Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Top-tier flyweights Kai Kara-France and Askar Askarov are expected to meet at a UFC March 26 event, multiple people with knowledge of the booking told MMA Fighting. Verbal agreements are in place with contracts expected shortly.

The matchup is expected to produce a challenger for the upcoming title rematch between champ Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo, which takes place Jan. 22 at UFC 270.

MMA Junkie first reported Kara-France vs. Askarov. Askarov also confirmed the bout via Instagram.

Kara-France just notched the biggest win of his career with a first-round stoppage of ex-bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt, who was making his 125-pound debut when they met at UFC 269. The finish was the second straight knockout win for Kara-France, who was outpointed by the current champ at UFC 245 and promised after his win that a rematch between them would have a far different outcome.

Askarov, meanwhile, fought to a draw with Moreno in the champ’s fight prior to Kara-France. It was the only blemish on the Dagestan native’s 15-fight professional resume. Afterward, he outpointed Tim Elliott, Alexandre Pantoja and Joseph Benavidez in a trio of appearances.

The March 26 UFC event is expected to take place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. It’s headlined by a light heavyweight fight between ex-champ Jan Blachowicz and top contender Aleksandar Rakic.