Amir Albazi defeated Kai Kara-France in the UFC Vegas 74 main event, though he’ll have a hard time actually being seen as the true winner.
The split-decision verdict to give Albazi the victory came as a shock, especially as Kara-France did more than enough to win the fight. Kara-France landed more than twice as many strikes (133) as Albazi (64), scored on both his takedown attempts, and dictated the pace of the action. Though he showed plenty of heart, Albazi being declared the winner was wholly unexpected.
While Albazi certainly showed that he was able to hold his own with the experienced Kara-France, the nature of his victory will not do him any favors. The uproar following the decision, which included Israel Adesanya voicing his discontent, won’t die down anytime soon.
A matter of controversy came upon reviewing the official scorecards. Ringside judge Chris Lee scored the fourth round for Albazi, despite it being one of Kara-Frances’ dominant rounds.
The scorecards came out to 48-47 twice for Albazi and a similar score for Kara-France.
Albazi moves to 17-1, announcing his hopes to compete for a title afterward.
Kara-France drops his second fight in a row, falling to 24-11.
Jim Miller delivers a killer KO on the undercard
Lightweight Jim Miller scored a devastating KO over last-minute substitute Jesse Butler. It took only 23 seconds for Miller to give Butler an out-of-body experience, turning in the most destructive win of his career in the process.
UFC Vegas 74 full results
Amir Albazi def. Kai Kara-France by split decision (48-47 x2, 47-48)
Alex Caceres def. Daniel Pineda by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Jim Miller def. Jesse Butler by KO at 0:23 of round 1
Elizeu Zaleski def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Daniel Santos def. Johnny Munoz by unanimous decision (29-27 x3)
Don’Tale Mayes def. Andrei Arlovski by TKO at 3:17 of round 2
John Castañeda def. Muin Gafurov by unanimous decision (29-27 x3)
Muhammad Naimov def. Jamie Mullarkey by TKO at 2:59 of round 2
Elise Reed def. Jinh Yu Frey by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Da’Mon Blackshear def. Luan Lacerda by TKO at 3:54 of round 2
Philipe Lins def. Maxim Grishin by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 xx3)