UFC Fight Night: Kara France vs. Albazi – Winners and Losers

Get the scoop on the real Winners and Losers of UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi

By: Dayne Fox | 4 months ago
UFC Fight Night: Kara France vs. Albazi – Winners and Losers
IMAGO Images / Zuma Wire / Louis Grasse

Another UFC Fight Night came and went — UFC Vegas 74 to be precise — but not before leaving quite a bit of controversy in its wake. Even as the main event between Amir Albazi and Kai Kara-France felt closer than the numbers would indicate, that doesn’t mean the number told a complete lie. Nevertheless, despite Kara-France officially outlanding Albazi in the significant strike department by more than 2-to-1, Albazi had his arm raised in the end, igniting MMA social media in a firestorm.

It would be foolish to call the card a failure, particularly given high number of fun fights provided from top to bottom. Some had great nights, some had meh nights, and some had terrible nights. We’re here to let you know who had the best and worst nights, with the revamped Winners and Losers. Only three selections per category, but this way it really does let us all know who is sitting on top of the world and who is down in the dumps. Let’s dig in! 


Jim Miller 

Old man river keeps on rolling. I get that beating a newcomer who took the fight somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 hours notice shouldn’t be something that gets Miller a spot here. Not when we’re only declaring so many winners on a card. But given the controversy in some fights and poor fight IQ in others, Miller takes the cake by knocking the block off Jesse Butler. Earning an extra $50K doesn’t hurt Miller’s case either.

It isn’t all that much of a surprise for a heavyweight to secure the most vicious KO of their career at the age of 39. But for a lightweight to do so? Unreal. I don’t think there’s any question whether Miller will make it to UFC 300 at this juncture; injury is the only thing that will prevent that. Thus, let’s celebrate an OG like Miller, particularly given he’s never been anything other than a gentleman outside the cage. 

Karine Silva 

When Silva won a contract to the UFC via DWCS, she looked like nothing more than a fun action fighter. All her victories came via stoppage, but her last couple of losses on the regional scene seemed to indicate a limited ceiling. Two fights into her UFC career, Silva is turning that idea on its head. 

Maybe Silva isn’t exactly showing a newfound savvy that is changing the minds of her fight IQ. But she has been able to bully her opposition in a way that wasn’t to be expected as she fought a higher level of competition. It wasn’t just the way she tore up Ketlen Souza’s knee, though that was brutal. Silva ragdolled Souza even before going for the… well, I’ll call it a kneebar. It wasn’t a kneebar in the classic sense, but it blew out Souza’s knee. 

Muhammad Naimov 

A lot of people within the MMA community were happy to see Naimov signed. He’s a solid prospect with power with some real upside. But it looked like taking a fight on short notice against a gritty vet like Jamie Mullarkey seemed like too much. Well, almost all of us were wrong. 

Naimov wasn’t trying to outwork Mullarkey. Instead, he got some early reads and ended up looking for the killshot. He found it in the second round, delivering a vicious counter that floored the typically durable Mullarkey. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a more impressive debut this year given the circumstances. So often, the prospects worth watching get overlooked due to the sheer volume the UFC signs. Naimov might have deservedly been able to separate himself from the pack with his explosive win. 


Kai Kara-France 

This has less to do with his performance and more to do with the circumstances of his loss and where it leaves him. Though I strongly disagreed with Albazi getting the win, I hesitate to call it a robbery because I can see where someone scores the fight for him; especially when not all significant strikes are created equal. Regardless, it ends up putting Kara-France far on the outside of the title picture, riding a two-fight losing streak. Not only is it a terrible position for someone with realistic title aspirations just last year, but a spot most feel he doesn’t deserve to be in. 

Playing armchair quarterback, it’s easy to say Kara-France should have been more active in the first three rounds. But none of us had to make sure we had energy enough to fight effectively after already going for 20 minutes. It’s hard to fault Kara-France’s strategy. Perhaps the judges only saw glancing strikes that didn’t land very cleanly. Perhaps they saw Albazi’s limited strikes landing with greater power. Whatever it is, it’s very plausible Kara-France never ends up in the title picture again. The only positive presently staring him down: that he was headlining a UFC Fight Night card, makes it more likely the controversy is remembered.

The judges didn't think Kai Kara-France did enough to win at UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi
IMAGO / Louis Grasse

Victor Altamirano 

Given flyweights have a shorter shelf life than the larger men’s divisions, Altamirano was being given a golden opportunity to make his move up the flyweight ladder at the age of 31. Not only was he getting a crack at one of the more notable flyweight names in Tim Elliott, he was getting an emotionally charged Elliott. Given Elliott has a history of being overly reckless, it appeared tailor-made for Altamirano. 

Altamirano couldn’t even win a single round. Not that he didn’t have a few bright moments – the head kick he rocked Elliott with in the second was brutal – but he spent too much time playing BJJ after Elliott put him on his back. He should have been trying to get back to his feet, where he was having success. Altamirano isn’t so old that he can’t continue to improve, but this loss puts a hard ceiling on how high he’ll be able to climb. 

Jinh Yu Frey 

For just three spots, it was a bit hard to figure out who to put here. Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Johnny Munoz, and Andrei Arlovski came to mind. Nurmagomedov lost a fight that stylistically favored him. Munoz suffered a brutal beating. Arlovski got violently KO’d… again. When it boiled down to it, there’s several reasons why I ultimately went with Frey and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. 

First, Frey lost despite having her best performance in quite some time. She got her wrestling working early… and still could pull out a win over Elise Reed. Secondly, that was despite Reed being one of the few strawweights who doesn’t have a noticeable size advantage on Frey. Third, it culminated in Frey’s third consecutive loss, dropping her to 2-5 overall in the UFC. She’s probably hitting the chopping block. At 38, it seems highly unlikely she’ll be able to claw her way back into the organization.  

Share this story

About the author
Dayne Fox
Dayne Fox

Dayne Fox is a contributing writer and analyst for Bloody Elbow. He has been writing about combat sports since 2013 and a member of Bloody Elbow since 2016. Dayne primarily contributes opinion pieces and event coverage. Dayne’s specialties are putting together the preview articles for all the UFC events and post-fight analysis. Outside of writing on combat sports, Dayne works in the purchasing department of a construction company, formerly working as an analyst. He is also a proud husband and father. In what spare time he can find, he enjoys strategy games and is a movie enthusiast. He is based in Utah.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories