The Final Verdict: Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi

The Final Verdict: Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi

Liam Lindsay|
June 04, 2023|

The first non-title Flyweight main event since 2017 did not disappoint, pitting together #3 ranked Kai "Don't Blink" Kara-France and #7 ranked Amir "The Prince" Albazi. The action was heated, but in the end, Albazi was awarded the highly controversial split decision on the scorecards.

Let's examine the decision round by round and break it down. Then we'll compare the judges' scorecards to the Verdict Scorecard and ultimately see who should've won this fight.

Official Judges: Michael Bell, Sal D'Amato, Chris Lee.

The official Judges' Scorecard for Kara-France vs. Albazi.
The official Judges' Scorecard for Kara-France vs. Albazi.
The Verdict Scorecard for Kara-France vs. Albazi.
The Verdict Scorecard for Kara-France vs. Albazi.

Round 1

The first round was a feeling-out process for both men. Albazi, who pressured heavily throughout the entire round, stung Kara-Frace with a lead hook early. All that was landed in the first three minutes were leg kicks, mainly for Kara-France, and some glancing blows from both men. Albazi also attempted a takedown but was unable to secure it. In the last two minutes, KKF picked up the pace, landing multiple jabs, leg kicks, and hooks, some landing on Albazis' guard and others just poking through. KKF finished the round strong with the best shot of the round, a straight right directly through the guard—a close round with a strong finish for the Kiwi.

Judges Scorecards: Chris Lee and Michael Bell 10-9 Kara-France, Sal D'amato 10-9 Albazi.

The Verdict Scorecard: 9.77-9.26 Kara-France.

Round 2

The closest round of the fight began with Albazi returning to the pressure, but Kara-Frace was more willing to exchange. The first half of the round was strong for the Iraqi, who used his range nicely to score straights to the body, jabs, and leg kicks, with the occasional blitz from Kara-France. Albazi attempted another takedown at the midpoint of the round but was separated quickly by KKF. "The Prince" also landed multiple lead hooks, some of the most significant shots throughout the round. Albazi landed a tremendous counter right over the jab of Kara-France with a minute to go. The Kiwi finished strong with a long blitzing combination.

Judges Scorecards: 10-9 Albazi x3.

The Verdict Scorecard: 9.54-9.48 Albazi.


Round 3

Round 3 is Albazis' strongest round by a mile. No real offense is landed for the first minute, but the next three minutes are dominated by Albazi, who secures a takedown, control time, and nearly locks in a rear naked choke submission after taking the back. However, Kara-France survives the scare and gets to his feet before shaking Albazi off his back, delivering some nasty ground and pound elbows at the end of the round. It's a good rally for KKF, but a large portion of the round was all Albazi.

Judges Scorecards: 10-9 Albazi x3.

The Verdict Scorecard: 9.8-9.22 Albazi.

Round 4

Now, moving on to one of Kara-Frances' best rounds. The Kiwi doesn't allow Albazi to take the center of the octagon and lands every time he presses forward. He lands multiple right hands on Albazi, who eats them well. He's also much more punctual with his jabs and leg kicks, two of his best strikes. Albazi attempts a takedown again, but KKF doesn't sit still and scrambles back to his feet quickly. In the closing seconds of the round, Kara-France secured his first takedown, stamping the round nicely.

Judges Scorecards: Michael Bell and Sal D'Amato 10-9 Kara-France, Chris Lee 10-9 Albazi.

The Verdict Scorecard: 9.87-9.14 Kara-France.


Round 5

The final round saw both men ramp up the output. A massive right-hand gets through for Kara-France about a minute into the round. Albazi manages to wrap his hands around KKF but can't keep him on the ground and separates. Both men unload on each other throughout the round, but the Kiwi is the much busier fighter and frequently throws combinations. Kara-France lands some laser-focused jabs, and in the closing seconds, both men land some big shots, but again it's KKF with the volume.

Judges Scorecards: 10-9 Kara-France x3.

The Verdict Scorecard: 9.9-9.1 Kara-France.

Official Scorecards:

Michael Bell: 48-47 Kara-France, Chris Lee 48-47 Albazi, Sal D'Amato 48-47 Albazi.

Official Result: Amir Albazi def. Kai Kara-France via split decision.


Verdict Scorecard:

Kai Kara-France def. Amir Albazi - Final Score: 48.24-46.84 Kai Kara-France.

Once again, the Verdict Scorecard disagrees with the decision. Despite some close rounds, the Verdict Scorecard has Kara-France clearly winning the fight. However, the judges' scorecards were very different, handing the win to Albazi via split decision.

How did you score the fight? Drop your scorecard in the comments below.

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