Amir Albazi narrowly edged out a split-decision win over Kai Kara-France tonight at UFC On ESPN 46.
The flyweight main event is underway in Las Vegas!
Kara-France circling on the outside. Albazi with a right hand. Kara-France with a low kick. Albazi with a right hand to set up a takedown against the cage. Kara-France defending for now though.
Albazi with a couple of hooks as they back out of the clinch. Albazi continuing to command the center of the Octagon but Kara-France starts to push him back with the jab and then lands a leg kick.
Another calf kick for Kara-France. Now Albazi responds with one of his own that lands solidly. Albazi loads up on a right hand, but Kara-France avoids it.
Right hand for Kara-France now. He lands the calf kick. They both connect with the jab. Kara-France pumping out the one-two.
Check hook from Kara-France as Albazi lands. They both drop their hands to taunt each other, but then Kara-France slugs Albazi with a clean punch.
Inside calf kick from Kara-France. Albazi looks for an overhand but doesn’t quite find the mark cleanly.
Body punch for Albazi. Calf kick for Albazi as Kara-France throws a punch. Jab for Albazi gets through. Calf kick for Kara-France.
Kara-France comes up short with a combo and Albazi grazes the target with an overhand. Albazi drives into the clinch against the cage, but they go back to striking range shortly afterwards.
Kara-France lands with a few punches and a leg kick. Inside leg kick from him and a left hand lands for Albazi.
Albazi lands a solid punch in close. Now a jab. Stepping left hook for Albazi. Brief flurry from Kara-France and an uppercut for Albazi.
Albazi pumping out the jab and Kara-France lands a calf kick. Albazi closes distance and has the body lock to force a takedown, but Kara-France scrambles and almost gets on top. They go back upright quickly and Albazi is pressing his opponent into the cage again.
Albazi lands a takedown and then gets to the back now parallel to the cage. Albazi rolls and puts a hook in and then is patient as he gradually finds an opportunity to get the body triangle.
Albazi starting to try for the rear-naked choke, but Kara-France defends for now. Albazi does get the arm under the chin now, but it’s an awkward angle and Kara-France survives. Kara-France standing now with Albazi still latched onto his back. Kara-France shakes him off though and now he has top position.
Kara-France stacking up and lands some ground-and-pound that opens a cut. Kara-France aggressive with punches and elbows to end the round.
Inside leg kick for Kara-France. He steps into a punch and lands another low kick. Swing and a miss from Kara-France. He does then follow up with the double jab though.
Body kick for Kara-France. He threatens with the right hand and then back to the jab. Another solid body kick for him.
Kara-France punches to the body. Albazi not offering much in response in the first half of this round, but then drives into a takedown and almost sticks it. Kara-France upright and Albazi drags him down again, only for Kara-France to scramble straight back up again and get away.
Double jab for Kara-France. leg kick for Kara-France. Calf kick for Albazi. He lands one to the body. Inside leg kick for Kara-France.
Albazi steps into a body kick, but that gives Kara-France a chance to take him down. Albazi scrambles well to get back up though. Kara-France with a final leg to end a round that he controlled.
Right hook for Kara-France. Jab from Albazi. Quick punches from Kara-France. Calf kick from Albazi.
Hard overhand right for Kara-France. Albazi with a good takedown entry and brings him down, but Kara-France immediately working back to his feet. Albazi stays clinched to his back though. Kara-France able to get free.
Counter-right hand lands for Albazi as Kara-France stays the more active of the two. Body punch from Kara-France.
Leg kick for Kara-France. Kara-France steps into the overhand but misses as Albazi lands a counter. Leg kick for Kara-France.
Jab for Kara-France. He continues to pump that left hand out rapidly. Body punch for him. Glancing overhand right.
albazi lands an uppercut and hook. Albazi attempts to catch hold of a leg without success. Kara-France landing the jab. Kara-France swinging for the fences in the final few seconds.
A competitive fight then, with the action being closely contested in the opening three rounds, though Kara-France seemed to have more energy and activity in the fourth and fifth.
It’s down to the judges to score it and they return with a split-decision verdict, with Amir Albazi being declared the winner (48-47 x2, 47-48).