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Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi full fight preview | UFC Vegas 74


Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight contenders Kai Kara-France and Amir Albazi will clash TONIGHT (Sat., June 3, 2023) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kara-France is one of the most respected punchers in the division, a proven finisher at the highest level. He enters this bout following his interim title loss to Brandon Moreno (watch highlights), but the Kiwi remains ranked inside the Top 5 and isn’t far off from contention if the title were to change hands. Conversely, Albazi is just four victories into his UFC career, but he’s scored three finishes thus far. He’s clearly a very talented new face, and he’s earned this step up in competition and profile against “Don’t Blink.”

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 74 On ESPN+

HIGH STAKES FLYWEIGHT MATCHUP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns home to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., June 3, 2023, with No. 3-seeded contender, Kai Kara-France, face rising No. 7-ranked Amir Albazi. In UFC Vegas 74’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event, an exciting Featherweight bout sees No. 15-ranked contender, Alex Caceres, lock horns with all-action Daniel Pineda.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Kai Kara-France

Record: 24-10 (1)
Key Victories: Askar Askarov (UFC on ESPN 33), Cody Garbrandt (UFC 269), Rogerio Bontorin (UFC 259), Raulian Paiva (UFC 234), Tyson Nam (UFC Fight Night 168)
Key Losses: Brandon Moreno (UFC 277, UFC 245), Brandon Royval (UFC 253)
Keys to Victory: Kara-France is a long-time member of the City Kickboxing team and a great representative of its style. He uses movement and feints to establish a long range, then he’ll either crash forward with sudden power punches or look for huge counters as his opponent tries to do the same.

He’s stopped 11 foes via knockout.

Without implying that this will be an easy fight for Kara-France, his style is built for opponents like Albazi. The Iraqi athlete likes to pressure and wrestle, and Kara-France’s whole game is built around playing the matador and dropping huge shots in the process. He’s been sprawling and brawling his entire career, and the strategy here is no different.

If there’s one adjustment to be made, I’d like to see Kara-France sitting down on his kicks more. Francisco Figueiredo was landing just about every power kick he threw, but he didn’t have the wrestling defense necessary to capitalize.

Kara-France does.

Amir Albazi

Record: 16-1
Key Victories: Malcolm Gordon (UFC Fight Island 2), Zhalgas Zhumagulov (UFC 257), Francisco Figueiredo (UFC 278)
Key Losses: Jose Torres (Brave CF 23)
Keys to Victory: Albazi is a really well-rounded talent. He’s stopped 14 of his 16 victories with a nice mix of submissions and knockouts, and though he thrives from top position, he’s far from helpless in standup exchanges.

The biggest key in this fight for Albazi is not to force the wrestling. He doesn’t have to! Kara-France is a very good striker, but he’s not impossible to hit, and Albazi certainly has the power and technique to hold his own and do damage in the stand up. If he’s shooting for desperation takedowns, that’s no longer the case.

If Albazi is instead consistently pressuring and trying to punish his foe’s movement with calf and front kicks, wrestling opportunities are likely to open up naturally. Takedowns should be part of his offense, but Albazi doesn’t need to secure top position to win rounds. He should be looking to establish his jab and build combinations, then aim to time takedowns.

By giving Kara-France so much to think about, Albazi increases the odds that he leads the dance.

Bottom Line

It’s a rare Flyweight highlight with a Top 5 spot on the line.

Kara-France is one of the more well-known, non-champion Flyweights, as evidenced by this main event slot. He’s popular and exciting. If he returns to the win column, he’s right back in the immediate title mix. A trilogy match against Brandon Moreno will be difficult to come by after losing the first two fights, but if Alexandre Pantoja takes the belt next month, Kara-France is just one more win away from another title fight.

On the other hand, this is a huge opportunity for Albazi. He’s looked really impressive, but he’s yet to defeat any truly established competition. Kara-France is a massive step up, so if he can perform similarly against an elite opponent, it says really good things about Albazi’s potential to become champion.

At UFC Vegas 74, Kai Kara-France and Amir Albazi will throw down in the main event. Which man has his hand raised?

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 74 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 9 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 74: “Kara-France vs. Albazi” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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