Kai Kara-France lost out on $100,000 following Saturday night’s controversial split decision loss to Amir Albazi.
The two top-ten bantamweight contenders went toe-to-toe for 25 minutes inside The APEX with the winner likely teeing themselves up for a potential title fight in the future. After five rounds, fans online were fairly confident that the Kiwi would have his hand raised. Instead, two of the three presiding judges threw fans, and Kara-France a curveball when they scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Albazi, handing him the win in a most controversial fashion.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour following the devastating defeat, Kara-France revealed that the loss cost him a fat stack of cash, not to mention his spot as the No. 3 ranked bantamweight in the world.
“It’s a tough one when you’re looking at it, at my career right now. That cost me 100 grand,” Kara-France revealed. “That loss cost me my ranking, number three in the world where winning this fight would have just put me right back in with [Brandon] Royval to fight for the number one contender. It puts me right back into where I want to be.”
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) June 5, 2023
Kai Kara-France Outstruck Amir Albazi in All Five Rounds
During the course of their UFC Vegas 74 main event, Kai Kara-France landed 99 significant strikes compared to Albazi’s 43, a 56-strike differential according to UFCStats.com. The numbers widened even further in total strikes where ‘Don’t Blink’ landed 133 total strikes versus 64 from Albazi.
Many assumed that the two judges, Chris Lee and Sal D’Amato, scored the fight in favor of Albazi due to his control time throughout the bout. Albazi had a total control time of 6:10, but only landed one out of nine attempted takedowns and failed the generate any real offense on the ground, aside from one tight rear-naked choke submission attempt that Kara-France was able to fight out of. Kara-France also landed more takedowns than his opponent, going two for two, but he had less than a minute of control time.
Simply put, the stats clearly show that Kara-France landed a majority of the damage which is the No. 1 criteria used when scoring fights. ‘Don’t Blink’ landed more strikes than Albazi in every round and landed more takedowns to boot. Yet somehow, the judges saw the fight for his opponent.