UFC Vegas 74 returned to the quiet confines of UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past weekend (Sat., June 3, 2023), leaving plenty of fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Jesse Butler, who was knocked out in his promotional debut by Jim Miller in the first frame (see it again here).
And Ketlen Souza, who had her knee destroyed in her own Octagon debut by Karine Silva (highlights here). In short, it was a bad night for UFC newcomers. But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?
The hard-hitting Flyweight wasn’t initially set to headline the event, but after Jack Hermansson was forced out of the original main event against Brendan Allen, France and Amir Albazi were bumped up to headliner.
For 25 minutes, the two talented 125 pounders went toe-to-toe in what proved to be a pretty tight contest, enough to cause an uproar on mixed martial arts (MMA) Twitter shortly after the decision was rendered, which awarded Albazi a razor-thin split decision win. It was a decision that even had Middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya, up in arms.
Whichever way you scored it (official scorecard here), a split decision leaves both men feeling a bit unsatisfied at the end because not only does the loser go home feeling sour, but the winner has to feel a bit gloomy knowing that his performance may be somewhat tainted.
But, that’s a story for another day because we’re focusing on the loser today, and Kara-France has now lost two straight fights inside the Octagon, which isn’t going to do him any favors in the championship race. Speaking of which, his previous loss was to current champion, Brandon Moreno, in an interim title scrap.
“The whole world knows who won but regardless we keep our head high and we keep moving forward,” Kara-France wrote on Twitter after the fight. “Appreciate all the love and support from everyone. Time for family and then we get back to work.”
The loss could knock Kara-France out of the Top 5, and if it does he will have to put in extra work to get back into the mix. As far as what could realistically be next for the fighting Kiwi, a showdown against Matheus Nicolau could be in order.
Nicolau is coming off a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Brandon Royval in April 2023, snapping his six-fight win streak. Nicolau is currently holding on to the No. 5 spot in the division, but there could be a shift sometime this week. Should there be one, I don’t expect Kara-France and Nicolau to be too far apart either way.
Both men are in need of wins following their latest setbacks, so it could make for an interesting fight between two hungry contenders looking to avoid digging themselves into deeper holes.
For complete UFC Vegas 74 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.