Is the UFC paying Amir Albazi enough to be tonight’s headliner?

Amir Albazi is on his way to a UFC title shot, but his last publicly disclosed fight purse was $16K to show.

By: June M. Williams | 4 months ago
Is the UFC paying Amir Albazi enough to be tonight’s headliner?
Amir Albaz. IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Amir Albazi is Headlining

He has that “sweet 16 in 16 deal”. That is the money he is making as of his last disclosed pay 10 months ago.

That just goes to show that we aren’t the only ones shitting on the athletes by shitting on these cards. How could we be so cruel to the athletes? That’s clearly what we have a problem with. We have explained this many times before, so we will try to be brief in explaining it again…

We like a lot of fighters, we like a lot of the fighters that the UFC doesn’t care about. A lot of weirdos, a lot of oddballs. At this point, we’ve developed a sort of weird internalized Stockholm Syndrome enjoyment of Don’Tale Mayes. We like these people.

The problem is that when you put a whole bunch of these fighters that nobody cares about on the same event — you create an event nobody cares about. You do all of them a disservice.

You don’t help Ketlen Souza have a debut people care about when you put her on a card that is just full of other people that nobody is watching.

So, that’s really what it is. It’s not like, “Oh, I hate watching Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.” No. I love watching that dude fight, he’s fun. But, if he’s gonna fight on this card, nobody is gonna know he fought a week from now. And that’s really what it comes down to.

And on that note too, we will really give UFC credit here this week, because Kai Kara-France should be headlining Fight Night cards.

Absolutely. Yes.

It’s just a more complex slap in the face. How long has it been since they’ve done a flyweight main event? Their last non-title fight flyweight main event was in 2017. And for them to do one after 5-6 years, which is certainly not to suggest that it’s an afterthought, and that they just needed somebody to put in a main event; And… maybe they didn’t want it to cost too much.

Well, Jack Hermansson vs. Brendan Allen got cancelled. That’s how we got this.

Ah, okay, well don’t worry we have an upcoming main event, Sean Strickland vs. Some Guy, so that’s good.

You need variety. You need a certain threshold of relevance for a card to be good.

Accusing us of being “casuals” is funny… but this is the casual part of my brain. Like, “I need my stories!” Okay? ‘Cause that’s why I follow the sport. I have characters I am invested in. I wanna see how they do. I wanna see the ‘world-building of the divisions’ shaping up. I need my lore, I need my characters.

And when you put a card like this together — it’s not that these are all bad fights, it’s not that there are no fighters that I care about. I think Jim Miller vs Jared Gordon is a very well-booked fight. I like it a lot. Alex Caceres vs. Daniel Pineda too. It’s a very strange, yet very compelling fight the more you look at it.

It’s that my impulse to immediately shit upon a card like this is not because these are all bad fights. It’s because it’s like a Sunday dinner spread where every dish on the table is horseradish. I like horseradish on my roast. This horseradish is designer, wow, it’s a really nice horseradish. I have some that is like wasabi that only grows on roadsides in Japan. You don’t get it at cheap places over here. This is some serious horseradish. It’s primo horseradish… but it is ALL horseradish. That’s the problem.

The card is mediocre, utterly mediocre, because there’s nothing to hang it on. There’s no pole, no tent pole to pull the god damned thing up off the ground. And so it just makes me feel bad, because I end up shitting on like, Jim Miller! Jim Miller is awesome. I have nothing but love and respect for Jim Miller. I have very rarely failed to enjoy a Jim Miller fight, other than to be disappointed when he loses. Don’t make me shit on Jim Miller! Help Jim Miller. Put him on a card where his services will be appreciated.

We did used to get really stacked Fight Night cards. They used to put Title Fights on TV. That’s obviously not gonna happen anymore. But they used to do it. But there’s no reason they shouldn’t be held to that standard.

Well, it’s because they have their deal, they gotta have title fights on the pay-per-views. But give me top-contender fights, or fan-favorites… they don’t even have to be top-contenders if they the caché.

Kara-France vs. Albazi, this could potentially be a top-contenders fight. It isn’t a bad main event, But for one, more than anything, because of how they’ve handled flyweight, it needs an undercard to back it up. And well, because they made this fight the main event because the ACTUAL main event got cancelled. And that’s no excuse for the card looking lackluster, because if losing Brendan Allen vs. Jack Hermansson, if that tanks the card, it was a bad card.

If Amir Albazi is a title contender and this is a title-contender fight then, hey, pay him more than sixteen-thousand dollars. Make the stakes here. Try. You actually, as a promoter, book these people. Tell me that they’re valuable, that they’re worth something. Tell me they are worth more than 16K… or potentially 32K, if they win.

~ Zane Simon & Connor Ruebusch
“Recently UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard “joked” at the expense of this site, about the complaints regarding the quality and possibly quantity of UFC cards during the current ESPN era.”

UFC Vegas 74 Main Card

The UFC is back after a brief hiatus with a UFC Vegas 74 fight card that is really quite alright even if it’s not attention grabbing. It’s good to see the promotion give more primetime air to the flyweight division with their first men’s 125 lb. non-title headliner since 2017.

Kara-France is fresh off a failed bid to secure the interim flyweight championship at UFC 277 against Brandon Moreno. Even if he didn’t get the win there he gave a damn good accounting of himself against one of the best flyweight fighters in the world. His bout against Amir Albazi should be a thriller. Alex Caceres vs. Daniel Pineda looks fun, as does Jared Gordon vs. Jim Miller. Not a bad night of fights all things considered, even if it doesn’t have a casual fan hook.

UFC Vegas 74 Main Fight Card | Sat. June 3 — 9/6PM ETPT

Here’s a look at the UFC Vegas 74: ‘Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi’ main fight card, as it stood at the time of recording:

13.Kai Kara-France4 (24-10) Vs. Amir Albazi7 (16-1)Flyweight
12.Alex Caceres (20-13) vs. Daniel Pineda (28-14)Featherweight
11.Jim Miller (35-17) vs. Jared Gordon (19-6) Lightweight
10.Tim Elliott (18-12-1) vs. Victor Altamirano (12-2)Flyweight
9.Karine Silva (15-4) vs. Ketlen Souza (13-3)Flyweight (W)
8.Jamie Mullarkey (16-5) vs. Muhammadojon Naimov (8-2)Lightweight

UFC Vegas 74 Prelims

Much like the main card, the prelims for UFC Vegas 74 are solid if not exactly laden with thrills for the causal fan. Will Abubakar Nurmagomedov live up to his namesake? Will Muin Gafurov make a big splashy debut? Will Andrei Arlovski keep squeaking out narrow decisions over mediocre mid-tier heavyweights? I have no idea. I think the fight between Luan Lacerda and Da’Mon Blacksheer is a lowkey banger, but whether or not that’ll actually transfer to the cage on fight night is anyone’s guess. All I can hope for now is that Grishin vs. Lins isn’t the most boring fight of 2023.

~ Zane Simon

They weigh everything, they mean nothing: let’s explore this heavyweight bout between Andrei Arlovski and Don’Tale Mayes a bit further…

We have actually grown a soft spot on our brains for Don’Tale Mayes over time. What the hell is he gonna try to do next time? He frustrates the shit out of us. This guy should be really good, he’s powerful, fast, has ‘Ciryl-Gane-like’ agility for being 6’6″, he’s dexterous, has balance, but is completely dysfunctional as a fighter, and his grappling game is non-existent. He is a big fish in a small pond with this gym he is fighting out of. He is a huge ball of wasted potential, that nonetheless has captivated us by occasionally doing something impressive.

Mayes could beat Arlovski, but we don’t think he’s going to. So far what beats Arlovski is not just “being there”, but being incredibly dangerous, or having an actual busy striking game that can outwork him. Andrei will be there, be busy and pace himself that way throughout the whole fight and just drain the life out of you, regardless his age.

UFC Vegas 74 Prelims Fight Card | Sat. June 3 — 6/3PM ETPT

7.Elizeu Zaleski (23-7) vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov (17-3-1)Welterweight
6.John Castañeda (19-6) vs. Muin Gafurov (18-4)Bantamweight
5.Andrei Arlovski (34-21) vs. Don’Tale Mayes (9-5)Heavyweight
4.Daniel Santos (10-2) vs. Johnny Munoz Jr. (12-2)Bantamweight
3.Jinh Yu Frey (11-8) vs. Elise Reed (6-3)Straweight (W)
2.Luan Lacerda (12-2) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (12-5-1)Bantamweight
1.Maxim Grishin (32-9-2) vs. Philipe Lins (16-5)Light heavyweight

Picks Stats

For those of you following the Vivi picks made on the show, we started tracking the stats for them in early 2020. Current event picks for the guys are now located in the last table of the current sheet in the attached file. So far, here are the overall standings:

Time SpanZane’s Pick RecordConnor’s Pick RecordZane’s Pick %Connor’s Pick %
UFC Vegas 73: Dern vs. Hill5/125/1242%42%
Early 2020 — UFC Vegas 73, May 2023924/1462887/146263%61%
2023 Overall Stats112/209110/20953.6%52.6%
2022 Overall Stats331/505312/50566%62%
2021 Overall Stats305/493295/49362%60%
2020 Incomplete Stats*176/255170/25569%67%
* We will be filling in our missing event stats for 2020 this Summer

Reference Vivi Picks Stats Spreadsheets:

UFC Vegas 74, Kai Kara-France, Amir Albazi, Kara-France vs Albazi, UFC Fight Night, UFC Official Fight Poster, Fight Poster,


Follow Zane @TheZaneSimon & Connor @BoxingBusch; follow us as @BloodyElbow on twitterfacebookinstagram, and at &

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Our Talented MMA Vivi Sponsor

The UFC Vegas 74 Fight Night: Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi edition of The MMA Vivisection is brought to you by ‘The Fine Art of Violence’, a collection of art and essays recapping the year in MMA by our Bloody Elbow Art Director: Chris Rini, featuring the most talented artists and writers in Mixed Martial Arts. The book is available in both hard copy and digital formats at

Join Us For Our Next Event

The next event after UFC Vegas 74 Fight Night: Kai Kara-France vs Amir Albazi, will be UFC 289: Nunes vs. Aldana & Oliveira vs. Dariush, which is broadcasting from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

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About the author
June M. Williams
June M. Williams

June M. Williams is the Bloody Elbow Ombudsperson, Lead Fixer, Author, Statistician, Watch Party Moderator, and Podcast Network & Syndication Manager.

She began work for the Combat Sports Division of SB Nation in 2010, making Bloody Elbow her primary home since 2014.

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