After spending most of the opening round with Rogerio Bontorin on his back looking for chokes, Kara-France powered back with a pair of devastating right hands that ultimately put the Brazilian face first on the canvas for the walk off knockout. The end came at 4:55 into the first round after referee Herb Dean stopped the fight.
“I was caught early. Weathered the storm, got back up. I just had to stay calm,” Kara-France said about his win. “We’ve been putting in the work and I just had to stay calm.
“I just turned it around, hit him one with a nice right hook. I felt it landed, I just need connection. Mark Hunt walkaway, vintage.”
Prior to the finish, Kara-France was playing defense after he ended up on the ground with Bontorin attached to his back, constantly finishing for submissions.
Bontorin was constantly attacking while fighting off Kara-France’s hands as he attempted to lock in the rear-naked choke. At one point, Kara-France managed to stand up and that almost gave Bontorin the opening to finish the fight.
Somehow, Kara-France resisted, escaped the position and then began unleashing bombs on the feet once he got back into striking range. After connected with a huge right hand, Kara-France followed with one more that saw Bontorin crash face first into the canvas.
Kara-France walked away thinking the fight was over but Dean didn’t actually stop it quite yet and the confusion led to another punch almost being landed. A frustrated Bontorin then leapt to his feet and threw his mouthpiece at Kara-France thinking he was going for an extra shot but really it was just the confusion about the timing of the stoppage.
Either way, Kara-France capped off his night with a highlight reel knockout as he evens his record at 2-2 in his past four fights while looking to set the stage for his teammate Israel Adesanya, who competes in the main event on Saturday night.