The 30-year-old flyweight from New Zealand engaged in a five-round battle with Amir Albazi that ended with a trio of 48-47 scorecards across the board. The only problem for Kara-France was two of those judges sided with Albazi, which means he suffers a second straight defeat after falling to Brandon Moreno in an interim flyweight title fight back in July 2022.
In the aftermath of the fight, Kara-France was understandably disappointed, although he didn’t want to start pointing fingers or claiming he was wronged even if he believes he should have gotten the nod on the scorecards.
“This is the sport at the highest level,” Kara-France said on the UFC Vegas 74 post-fight show. “It’s a game of inches and I know I’ve said that before but it’s subjective to what the judges are scoring. If they’re scoring damage, if they’re scoring control, aggression, all of these things.
“I was feeling confident when they were calling the announcement but hats off to Amir. I’m not going to be one to dwell on it.”
Who’s worse UFC judges or NRL Refs?— Kai Kara France (@kaikarafrance) June 4, 2023
Kara-France outstruck Albazi by a wide margin on the feet but he was also stuck backing up for the majority of the fight with his opponent constantly marching forward across the octagon.
Looking back at his performance, the City Kickboxing fighter admits he could have done more in that regard while trying to slow Albazi down, which may have played a part in how the judges scored the fight.
“[I wish I had done] a bit more controlling,” Kara-France said. “Capitalizing on moments I could have put a bit more pressure on. Amir was quite good at ducking and just missing. He showed that he’s well rounded. A lot of people said he was just a wrestler and a grappler but he showed he could strike.
“It’s a fun matchup when guys neutralize the ground and you can keep it standing and give people what they want to see.”
Despite the result, Kara-France still had nothing but praise for Albazi on a job well done.
“Congrats to him for winning and bringing the fight to me and putting on a show,” Kara-France said. “Awesome for flyweights to be on this headline main event so I can’t really be too down on the result. I’ve just got to go again, that’s it.”
As far as what’s next, Kara-France didn’t necessarily feel like calling anybody out but he’s been in situations like this previously and he knows how to bounce back.
He had two past losses to Moreno and Brandon Royval before three straight wins earned him the chance to compete for an interim flyweight title.
Regardless of what happened on Saturday night, Kara-France has no doubt he can get back on top again.
“One of these things, go back to my gym, my coaches, sit down with them and we regroup,” Kara-France said. “This is not something they haven’t done before, come back from a loss so this is what builds character. This is what shows what you’re really made of when things don’t work out and you rise above it.
“I’ve got a baby due in August so I’m growing the tribe. It’s nice to have my loved ones to go back to. We rebuild and we go again.”