Askar Askarov and Kai Kara-France faced off in a Flyweight clash tonight (Sat., March 26, 2022) at UFC Columbus inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. In a very fun fight, Kara-France was named the victor.
Askarov stalked his opponent early, while Kara-France circled and kicked. About 90 seconds into the fight, Askarov transitioned into a single leg takedown. Kara-France defended gamely but still wound up on his back in side control. Moments later, Askarov took the back and locked in the body triangle. Somehow, Askarov was bleeding out of his left eye.
Kara-France stood up, still carrying the Russian like a backpack. Askarov went all in on attacking the neck, but Kara-France’s desperate hand-fighting was enough to save himself. Askarov landed a couple nasty elbows from that position, then finished the round by attempting a neck crank.
In short, the first five minutes were pretty brutal for the Kiwi.
Kara-France started the second strong, putting together a nice combination of punches to the jawline. Askarov didn’t like it one bit, dropping down into another single leg takedown along the fence. Askarov transitioned into the body lock, dragged his foe down, and started taking the back once again. This time, Kara-France escaped quickly!
Kara-France landed some more looping hooks and was doing a really good job of keeping his foe off him. Askarov tried another single leg along the fence. but Kara-France denied him once more and landed a huge pair of shots! Kara-France went after his foe and landed some big left hooks, denying another takedown. Kara-France really backed his foe into the cage and threw big, but he didn’t get Askarov out of there.
Still, it was a hell of a rebound round.
Kara-France started the final round with a heavy right hand land, and he continued to dig some good low kicks. Askarov transitioned from a single leg takedown into the back clinch, working to put hooks in yet again. This time, Askarov jumped directly into the body triangle, but Kara-France quickly shook him off. Askarov landed an elbow, but Kara-France broke away back into the center.
Lead right hand scored for Kara-France. The pace has slowed a bit until the final minute, when Kara-France started to turn it back up with big swings. Kara-France waved his opponent on, but Askarov ducked into one last (failed) takedown attempt instead.
At the end of three rounds, all three judges awarded Kara-France the second and third round. Given how poorly the fight started, it was hugely impressive that the Kiwi was able to battle his way back into the fight.
Result: Kai Kara-France defeats Askar Askarov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
For complete UFC Columbus: “Blaydes vs. Daukaus” results and play-by-play, click HERE!