Askar Askarov believes if he beats Kai Kara-France at UFC Columbus he will be fighting for UFC gold next time out.
Askarov is currently 14-0-1 as a pro and 3-0-1 in the UFC and coming off a dominant win over Joseph Benavidez. However, the Russian missed weight which is why he had to take another bout before getting a title shot. Now, as he faces Kara-France he believes if he defeats the Kiwi he will face the winner of Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno 4.
“Kai Kara-France is a very tough opponent and a very good striker,” Askarov said at media day. “I’ve been fighting with the better guys in this division, so it’s nothing new for me. I’m just going to go and do my thing. I can finish the fight. I can see that I can finish him. I think this fourth fight will be the last one of Brandon Moreno and Figueiredo … and I think who wins this Saturday, me or Kai Kara-France, is next in line for a title shot.”
Askar Askarov does make a good point as he’s currently ranked second at flyweight while Kai Kara-France is ranked sixth so the winner would be in a good position to fight for the belt. The Russian has also beat Alexandre Pantoja and has a draw against Moreno so he has proven he can hang with the best.
Yet, for Askarov, he believes if Moreno becomes the flyweight champ again he doesn’t think the Mexican would face him again as Moreno knows he would lose in the rematch.
“Moreno, after he wins, he always chooses his opponents (and picks) the easiest fights,” Askarov said. “He knows that I beat him and I can still beat him. I’m the king of this jungle. Tell them I’m back. The king is back. I’m going to take my win this Saturday, and I’m coming for my belt.”
In order for that to even happen, Askarov will need to beat Kara-France at UFC Columbus while Moreno would need to beat Figueiredo. But, all the Russian cares about is beating Kara-France and fighting for UFC gold next time out.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime