UFC main eventer frustrated by controversial defeat: Judges ‘cost me $100,000’

A recent UFC main event ended in a controversial split decision. One fighter said that cost him $100,000.

By: Lucas Rezende | 4 months ago
UFC main eventer frustrated by controversial defeat: Judges ‘cost me $100,000’
IMAGO/ZUMA WIRE: Kai Kara-France lost to Amir Albazi at UFC Vegas 74.

While many professional fighters, fans and pundits disagreed with the result of the main event at UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi, nobody was as hurt by it as flyweight contender Kai Kara-France. While it is refreshing to see many people giving him support after a close split decision loss to Amir Albazi, which left the MMA community thinking the Kiwi deserved the nod, the athlete is still processing the defeat.

Kai Kara-France tries to stay positive despite the loss

In an interview on the MMA Hour, Kara-France was finding it hard to see how judges could have given the decision to Albazi after five rounds. Though ‘Don’t Blink’ is disappointed by the loss, he tries to remain positive. Since many fans agree with him about who should have won the fight, the Kiwi feels like he still has the same value as before UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi.

Kai Kara-France discusses his loss to Amir Albazi at last week’s UFC fight night event.

“It’s hard to see how the judges gave it to Amir. When you look at it, black and white, what the stats were, and what he was trying to implement, and I what I was able to neutralize and capitalize on moments, I definitely thought I won and I feel like the whole world does. I haven’t met anyone or seen anyone yet that though Amir won besides Amir. But hey, that’s the fight. I can’t change the result. I feel like my stocks don’t go down at all. People know that I’m one of the best guys in the world and that performance showed that I’m at the highest level.”

A loss that cost a lot of money

When analyzing the fight in detail, it becomes more clear for Kara-France that the judges should have awarded him the decision. Though the result ended up not going his way, and that does frustrate the athlete, his biggest gripe is about the money he lost by not receiving his win bonus. Furthermore, the Kiwi is also displeased about being on a two-fight losing skid now, which means it will take him longer to get back in the title mix.

“I definitely thought [I won] round one,” Kara-France said. “Two was a close round, but I feel like I did enough. He got me down in the third round, took my back, couldn’t finish me, and I ended up finishing on top, raining down elbows. And then fourth and fifth, I was the one dictating the pace, I was the one pressuring, I was the one landing the better shots.

“And it’s how you finish. It’s momentum. It’s pretty much stamping that you’re winning the fight. He was tired, he was gassed, all he did was push me against the cage, and a few flurries, but mostly it was me those last two rounds. So it’s a tough one when you’re looking at my career right now.”

“That cost me $100,000, that loss. It cost me my ranking, No. 3 in the world. Where winning this fight would have just put me right back in with probably [Brandon] Royval to fight for the No. 1 contender. It puts me right back into where I want to be, which is the best in the world.”

Currently on a two-fight losing skid, Kai Kara-France got TKO’d by champion Brandon Moreno in July 2022, before his loss in last weekend’s UFC fight night main event. Prior to the defeats, the 30-year-old was on a three-fight winning streak that secured him the title shot, with wins over Rogerio Bontorin, Cody Garbrandt and Askar Askarov.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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