Kai Kara France took on Amir Albazi in the main event of UFC Vegas 74. Kai was coming off a loss to the divisional champion, Brandon Moreno in his last fight. Albazi, on the other hand, defeated Alessandro Costa in his last bout in December 2022. Moreno occupied the no. 3 ranking before the fight, while Albazi was the 7th-ranked flyweight fighter in the UFC. So which fighter asserted their dominance in the contest? Let’s find out.
Round 1 of the bout did not really paint the full picture of what both the fighters were capable of. It was evident from their approach that both respected each other’s skill sets and did not want to take any unnecessary chances. While Kai Kara France did land a few damaging leg kicks, the first round was pretty uneventful as a whole. Both Kara France and Amir Albazi continued the same approach in round 2 as well.
Ahead of the bout, both fighters knew if the Kiwi landed his trademark right hand, the fight would be as good as over. However, Albazi did extremely well to not get hit by hard shots and started to land heavy left hooks of his own. But, one weapon that worked for Israel Adesanya‘s teammate, was his leg kicks. But, right at the beginning of round 3, Amir managed to get the bout to the ground.
Amir Albazi beats Kai Kara France via a split decision
Although the City Kickboxing fighter managed to scramble out at first, Albazi persisted and managed to secure the first takedown of the contest almost 2 minutes into the third round. The Iraq native then swiftly secured Kai Kara France’s back and locked in the rear-naked choke. However, Kai managed to slip out and reverse the position and end the round with some ground and pound of his own!
After escaping the submission attempt, Kai Kara France started round 4 with a huge burst of confidence. In the first minute, the Kiwi pushed his opponent back with the threat of some big punches. But Albazi managed to turn the table with takedown threats of his own. While his hands were mostly ineffective throughout the contest, Kara France did manage some success with his stiff kicks.
The bout was extremely close heading into round 5. The former interim flyweight title holder did not want to leave anything to the judges and started the final round on the front foot. With kicks and some hard punches, Kara France kept Amir at bay in the opening few minutes of the round. But, Albazi was clearly the better grappler as he managed to stop Kara France’s onslaught whenever he got his hands on the latter.
With 10 seconds left in the contest, Kai Kara France and Amir Albazi stood in the middle and traded some big shots. But the fight ultimately went to the scorecards and two judges scored the fight 48-47 for Amir and one had it for France, 47-48.
Fans react to Kara France’s split decision loss to Albazi at UFC Vegas 74
Amir Albazi acknowledged after the contest that the bout was an extremely close one. Although he promised the fans that he will get the stoppage next time, Michael Bisping was not convinced. After the contest, Bisping added that he felt as if Kai Kara France should have been the winner. Looking at the stats, Bisping would seem correct in his opinion.
As per UFC stats, Kai Kara Frances landed a total of 133 strikes, of which 99 were significant. Albazi, on the other hand, only secured 43 significant punches and 64 punches in total. While Albazi had 6:10 minutes of ground control time, he only managed 1 submission attempt in the whole contest. Albazi only landed 3 significant strikes on the ground, while Kara France managed 8. Albazi only secured 1 takedown out of 9, while the Kiwi attempted 2 takedowns and secured both. Hence, fans also are displeased with the result.
Here are some fan reactions on the matter
WTF IS THESE JUDGES FUCKING SMOKING??— LxckTV (@LxckTV) June 4, 2023
Reads the split decision for another ufc robbery.— Kodii (@KodiiTweets) June 4, 2023
Wasn’t close. Robbed— Beaux McCormick (@mc_beaux) June 4, 2023
Judges just awful— robb.radish.Ξᵍᵐ🍌 Mojave 🏜 (@Wine_Ace) June 4, 2023
lol what a joke— Mateus Carrión – “zinhao” (@zinhaooo) June 4, 2023
49-46 kai kara france
Terrible decision— Dwane Mann (@dwane_mann) June 4, 2023
Robbery is the UFC the WWE now? Pushing a narrative lol— Pegasus Picks (@PicksByPegasus) June 4, 2023
Not just the fans, even the UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya also expressed his disbelief about the result.
Targeting the judges Chris Lee and Sal D’Amato, Adesanya tweeted “I tweeted that before even seeing the scorecards because I knew them two will fuck it up!! Hoooow many times will they rob athletes of their moments of glory, if their money, their livelihood for their family. Fuuuuuuuck them cunts, they need to expire quickly and go. Mike Bell was the only judge to score this properly, the other two deff need to disappear.”
Giving Amir rd 4 is just insane— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) June 4, 2023
Kara France’s other teammate, the UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski also chimed in on the matter. Agreeing with Izzy, Volkanovski wrote, “Giving Amir rd 4 is just insane.”
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think Albazi was the rightful winner? Or was Kai Kara France robbed? Let us know in the comments down below.