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UFC Vegas 74 results: Amir Albazi splits Kai Kara-France in back-and-forth scrap

Kai Kara-France and Amir Albazi squared off in a Flyweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., June 3, 2023) at UFC Vegas 74 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Following a competitive fight, Albazi was named the victor.

After about a minute of feeling out and a trade of right hands, Albazi ducked into his first takedown attempt of the fight. Kara-France denied him, but Albazi landed on the break. Kara-France scored with a chopping low kick, then Albazi answered in kind. Kara-France connected with his first right of the fight, which backed Albazi off from a moment. Kara-France found his distance in the final minute, landing the better shots and frustrating the up-and-comer to pull the momentum into his corner.

Albazi pressured in the second and worked to line up his right hand. He snapped Kara-France’s head back with a stiff jab. The Kiwi responded with a chopping low kick then stuck a 1-2-1 combination. Kara-France stuffed another takedown and came off the fence firing, landing his right hand and another low kick. Albazi walked Kara-France into a hard left kick and left hook, timing his foe’s lateral movement. An Albazi overhand caught Kara-France clean, wobbling his knees momentarily. Both men landed big in the closing moments of the second round, and this kickboxing battle was heating up 10 minutes in.

Kara-France began the third frame with a good low kick, but Albazi got in deep on a takedown. Somehow, Kara-France rejected his clinch throw and nearly gained top position in the process. A second effort from Albazi landed him on top, and he began to take the back. He locked in the body triangle and started punching, which nearly set up the rear naked choke! Kara-France popped up to his feet afterward and reversed into top control with about 30 seconds remaining.

It wasn’t enough to win back the round, but “Don’t Blink” landed some solid elbows from within the guard.

Heading into the championship rounds, Kara-France was aggressive, swinging his right hand and attacking the lead leg. An Albazi right hand settled him down momentarily, but Kara-France kept working the jab. Albazi land a big counter right hand, and Kara-France absorbed it without issue. Kara-France denied a deep takedown attempt and stuck his lead hand in Albazi’s face. Near the end of the round, Kara-France caught a kick and scored a takedown, but he couldn’t hold top position for more than a handful of seconds.

It was anyone’s guess who was up on the cards with five minutes remaining. Kara-France opened the final frame with punches in bunches, landing a handful of clean right hands. One right hand wobbled Albazi a bit, but he responded with a well-timed takedown. Kara-France worked himself free and kept the pressure on, firing good combinations and keeping Albazi on his back foot. Albazi landed a good right hand to prove he wasn’t done, but he was far behind on the volume game. Kara-France finished the fight really strong, scoring several right hand connections to put a punctuation mark on his performance.

Shockingly, it wasn’t enough for the judges. This was a very competitive fight, but it really felt as if Kara-France ran away with the final two rounds and thus did enough to get the nod. Either way, Albazi is right in the title mix at 125 pounds.

Result: Amir Albazi defeats Kai Kara-France via split-decision

For complete UFC Vegas 74: “Kara-France vs. Albazi” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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