Amir Albazi’s first UFC main event may have been marred by controversy, but after a back-and-forth fight that ended in a split decision over Kai Kara-France, Albazi still left with another win on his record.
It was an important moment for Albazi, who sought to establish himself as a credible threat to the flyweight title and keep his momentum churning after a red-hot 4-0 start his UFC career. And while the result ultimately went his way and kept his streak alive, Albazi knows he has no one to blame but himself for allowing Kara-France to stick around for all five rounds, especially after nearly finishing the fight with an early rear-naked choke submission.
“I had too much fun,” Albazi said during the UFC Vegas 74 post-fight show. “I tried to get into a fist fight. I would be like, ‘You think you’ve got a good right hand, I have a good right hand too.’ I didn’t really follow my game plan. If I would have followed my game plan, I would have taken him out in the third round.”
Even though the fight was close throughout, Albazi is still confident he did enough to secure the victory — although he knows it’s never a certainty when the judges get involved.
“I knew I was doing more — more than him,” Albazi said. “He tried to play a bit more defense, but with the judges nowadays, I have no clue. I leave it up to God. I’m a man of God, so I’m like, whoever is going to [win this], it’s just a learning experience.
“But I pulled out the win. I thought I did a bit more than him so all good. I got the win, now onto the next one, onto the title. That’s what I want.”
With Saturday’s result in the rear-view, Albazi is ready to use his first main-event win to propel himself toward the next goal in his career: Claiming a UFC title at 125 pounds.
That’s why Albazi didn’t call out any single fighter by name after his win but instead kept his attention focused on the upcoming flyweight title bout between reigning champion Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja, which serves as UFC 290’s co-main event in July.
Da’Mon Blackshear beat Luan Lacerda with a second-round TKO Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC on ESPN 45 in Las Vegas.
Iraqi fighter Amir Albazi achieved a split decision win against former interim title challenger Kai Kara-France at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Saturday.
It was a good performance in Albazi’s first fight against a flyweight ranked in the UFC’s official top five, but it likely will not inspire an immediate title shot.
The defense of Kara-France held up well enough to keep the fight in his realm for most of the 25 minutes, but the judges sided with Albazi.
Kara-France and Albazi shared the experience of fighting past three rounds for the first time on Saturday. Albazi was visibly slower entering Round 4, yet Kara-France looked faster the further the fight progressed.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The UFC is owned and operated by Zuffa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Endeavor Group Holdings. It is the largest MMA promotion in the world as of 2022.
Brandon Royval and Amir Albazi are the two most deserving fighters for the next title shot. Both would have to sit and wait if they truly believe they deserve a title shot next. Instead, facing off against one another would be the most logical way to set up who truly deserves the next shot at the flyweight title.
Seeing as a UFC PPV in Abu Dhabi is coming up, that would be the place to host the No. 1 contender fight for the flyweight title between Brandon Royval and Amir Albazi. Seeing as they are both No. 2 and No. 3 in the division, this would be the most logical choice for both contenders next in their careers.
This doesn’t seem like a likely outcome but there aren’t many options for Albazi outside of Brandon Royval that will give him a title shot in the flyweight division. We still don’t know whether or not Figueiredo is staying at flyweight or moving up to bantamweight but if he stays put this seems like a good matchup for Albazi to show whether he is worthy of a title shot or not.
Even with a loss against Brandon Moreno, Figueiredo is still one of the best flyweight fighters in the UFC. It remains to be seen when Figueiredo will be healthy enough to compete again. He was rumored to be fighting again at flyweight against Manel Kape but ultimately was not healthy enough to take the fight. If Figueiredo is healthy and staying at flyweight this is the perfect matchup for Albazi to show that there is no doubt that he should be next for a title shot.
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