Kai Kara-France is maintaining a positive attitude following his contentious split-decision loss to Amir Albazi. Despite outlanding his opponent by a significant margin on the feet, “Don’t Blink” was on the wrong side of the scorecards in the UFC on ESPN 46 headliner. Judges Sal D’Amato and Chris Lee scored the contest 48-47 for Albazi, making all the difference despite the vast majority of media members awarding the bout to Kara-France. While statistics favored Kara-France, Albazi was moving forward the majority of the fight and also came the closest to a finish with a third-round rear-naked choke attempt.
“This is the sport at the highest level,” Kara-France said on the ESPN+ post-fight show. “It’s a game of inches and I know I’ve said that before but it’s subjective to what the judges are scoring. If they’re scoring damage, if they’re scoring control, aggression, all of these things. I was feeling confident when they were calling the announcement but hats off to Amir. I’m not going to be one to dwell on it.”
Reflections on the Fight
In hindsight, Kara-France admitted that perhaps there was more he could have done to sway the scorecards in his favor. “[I could have done] a bit more controlling,” Kara-France said. “Capitalizing on moments I could have put a bit more pressure on. Amir was quite good at ducking and just missing. He showed that he’s well-rounded. A lot of people said he was just a wrestler and a grappler but he showed he could strike. It’s a fun matchup when guys neutralize the ground and you can keep it standing and give people what they want to see.”
After coming up short against Brandon Moreno in an interim title bout at UFC 277 last July, Kara-France had hoped that a main event victory over Albazi would keep him on the shortlist of contenders at 125 pounds. Instead, the City Kickboxing representative gave credit to his opponent following a disappointing loss. “Congrats to him for winning and bringing the fight to me and putting on a show,” Kara-France said. “Awesome for flyweights to be on this headline main event so I can’t really be too down on the result. I’ve just got to go again, that’s it.”