UFC is moving forward with an interim flyweight title fight on July 30, sources confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.
Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France will meet for the interim belt at UFC 277 at a location to be announced, sources said. It will mark the second time Moreno and Kara-France square off. Moreno took a unanimous decision in their first fight in December 2019.
Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2-1) will retain his title but is not available to defend against the next No. 1 contender. The Brazilian has not made a public statement on the creation of an interim belt. Previously, he had expressed a desire to fight Kara-France.
News of the interim title fight was first reported by MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.
Moreno (19-6-2), of Mexico, is coming off three consecutive title bouts against Figueiredo. The two fought to a draw in late 2020 and met in an immediate rematch in June 2021. Moreno submitted Figueiredo in the third round of that fight to claim the 125-pound title, but surrendered it back via unanimous decision in a trilogy bout in January.
Kara-France (24-9), of New Zealand, has surged into contention behind a 4-1 record in his past five bouts. He recorded back-to-back first-round finishes against top-tier opponents in Rogerio Bontorin and Cody Garbrandt in 2021. He also defeated Askar Askarov in March.