Kai Kara-France will square off against an old friend at UFC 245 in Las Vegas in December, confirming a bout against former Ultimate Fighter housemate Brandon Moreno.
Kara-France was scheduled to fight No 5 ranked flyweight Sergio Pettis on the same card, however Pettis is off-contract and has since decided to test the open market.
Moreno, ranked No 7 in the division, has stepped up to take the bout against the No 9-ranked Kiwi on short notice. It will be a lightning quick turnaround for Moreno, whose last fight was in Mexico in late September where he fought out a draw against Russian Askar Askarov.
"It's one of those things, you can't really focus too much on who you're fighting," Kara-France said. "I've still got a fight, which I'm happy about.
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"Maybe (Sergio) asked for too much money and they didn't want to match it. You just never know."
Moreno (15-5-1) recently returned to the UFC after being cut by the promotion in late 2018 when the future of the flyweight division was in doubt.
While out of the UFC, he signed a multi-fight deal with America's Legacy Fighting Alliance where he won a title. His fight in September was his fight back with the UFC.
While Moreno isn't as big a name as Pettis, he's still ranked higher than Kara-France and provides the type of test the Kiwi is looking for.
"It's a tough fight," Kara-France said. "We want to fight those top level opponents and take it step by step.
"I'm not really too fussed - if it's Sergio, if it's Brandon, if it's Henry Cejudo - it's just another person for me. I don't really take it personally at all, it doesn't really matter who I'm fighting as long as I get paid and I get on the cards that I want to."
Kara-France is in Melbourne this week as one of the UFC's guest fighters to attend UFC 243 at Marvel Stadium, which sees his City Kickboxing teammates Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Brad Riddell fighting. It was the first time he had been brought to an event as a guest fighter and he said it was a sign of what the company sees in him.
"I know the UFC want to push me - I wouldn't be here if they didn't want to. To be here on fight week and not have the pressures of actually fighting is kind of nice."