UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi Fight Card, Predictions, & Odds

min read
Kai Kara-France, right, lands a punch against Cody Garbrandt during a flyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 269.
(AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel May 31, 2023, 5:56 PM
  • Amir Albazi is the slight betting favorite at -105.
  • Kai Kara-France is the slight betting underdog at -115.
  • The winner improves their chances to be the next title challenger.

After a week off, UFC action is back this Saturday, June 3, inside the APEX Center in Las Vegas, as top flyweight contenders are set to headline the fight night. No. 3-ranked contender Kai Kara-France (24-10 with one no-contest) faces the No. 7-ranked fighter Amir Albazi (16-1) in a  crucial match that could determine the next potential title challenger for the division’s champion.

Kara-France is coming off a loss from his previous fight for the UFC Interim Flyweight title in July 2022 and will come in as the slight betting underdog (-115) in the UFC odds against the lower-ranked contender Albazi, who is the slight betting favorite (-105) in live betting, as he rides a four-fight undefeated run under the Dana White-headed promotion.

“The Prince” also persuaded the oddsmakers to make him the betting favorite due to his impressive record of 16 wins, with only one loss and his high finishing rate of 87%. Additionally, Albazi has won three of his four fights in the UFC by stoppage. Meanwhile, “Don’t Blink” already has 10 defeats under his record, three of which came in the UFC.

Kai Kara-France Recent Fight Results

At 30, Kai Kara-France is already an MMA veteran with 35 professional fights on his resume, winning 24, losing 11, and having one no-contest result. Before competing under the UFC, the New Zealander had 17 wins, seven losses, and one no-contest fighting in multiple promotions. In December 2018, he made his debut inside the Octagon.

Since his debut, Kara-France has appeared in 10 UFC fights, winning seven and dropping three. His two most notable wins were against Cody Garbrandt(first-round TKO in December 2021) and Askar Askarov (unanimous decision in March 2022). On the other hand, he suffered losses at the hands of Brandon Moreno (twice) and Brandon Royval.

Amir Albazi Recent Fight Results

Amir Albazi is an MMA flyweight fighter out of Iraq who made his professional debut in August 2009. Before signing with the UFC in 2020, The Prince racked up 12 wins, including 11 finishes, to become the flyweight champion in Ultimate Challenge MMA (September 2015) and at the FightStar Championship (December 2016).

The 29-year-old made a successful debut in the Octagon by submitting Malcolm Gordon in July 2020, before adding three more victories over Zhalgas Zhumagulov, Francisco Figueiredo, and Alessandro Costa. Albazi looks to sustain his winning streak and pick up the biggest win of his career against Kai Kara-France this Saturday.

Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi: Tale of the Tape

Kai Kara-FranceAmir Albazi
Age3029
Height5’4”5’5”
Reach69 inches68 inches
Leg Reach37 inches38 inches
Record24-1016-1
Fighting StyleStrikerJiu-Jitsu
Finishing Rate58%87%

Kai Kara-France vs. Amir Albazi: Fight Analysis

On paper, Kai Kara-France and Amir Albazi are almost identical in the tale of the tape, as only an inch separates them in height, reach, and leg reach. However, their record has the most significant difference, with Kara-France already sustaining 10 losses, while Albazi only has one dent on his MMA record.

Another big difference between the two flyweight contenders is their fighting style, with the Kiwi being a striker and the Iraqi bringing his Jiu-Jitsu background, which is evident in their wins. Kara-France’s biggest method of victory is via TKO/KO with 46%, while Albazi got 56% of his victories off submissions. In short, it will be a classic striker versus grappler match.

This difference carries over to the significant strikes department, where Kara-France lands 4.7 (40% rate) significant strikes per minute compared to Albazi’s 3.54 (43% rate). Because of this stand-and-trade style of the former interim title challenger, he absorbed more strikes per minute at 3.57 (64% rate) versus Albazi’s 2.57 (61%).

On the other hand, in the grappling department, Albazi leads three of the four major categories in takedown average per 15 minutes with 2.47 against Kara-France’s 0.51, 50% takedown accuracy over Kara-France’s 25%, and 0.82 submissions per 15 minutes compared to Kara-France’s 0. The only better stat that Kara-France has is the takedown defense percentage of 87% against Albazi’s 66%.

The key for the pride of New Zealand in this fight is to land his favorite one-two punch combination, especially his lethal right straight punch, which was responsible for most of his TKO/KO stoppages. He sets this one by throwing a left jab to close the distance, then immediately firing the right straight down the pipe to hurt or knock his opponent out.

This simple, yet effective combination by Kara-France is not only the technique he uses in his fights, but he also has decent wrestling, which he utilizes to mix his attack. He combines this with this one-two combination, and sometimes he times a perfect level change whenever his opponent tries to throw a counter at him.

On the other hand, Albazi should maximize his grappling advantage over Kara-France, especially knowing he already has three submission defeats and one under the UFC courtesy of Brandon Royval. This high-level grappling from the No.7-ranked flyweight contender is paired with enormous pressure, which makes his style much more successful.

The main fight plan for Albazi is to accurately set up the level change for a takedown and drag Kara-France down the mat, where he excels. Despite the massive edge in this department, don’t count out Albazi’s striking because he also packs a lot of power in his hands, mainly when he throws a counterpunch. Thanks to these powerful counters, he was able to score five TKO/KO finishes.

With all of the above factors,  Albazi’s pressure and grappling should be enough to get away with a submission victory over  Kara-France. Once Albazi secures a takedown, he will work his way into a submission maneuver or a beating on top of the Kiwi via a nasty ground-and-pound to secure the win and move up the rankings anew.

Official Prediction: Submission victory for Amir Albazi.

See the entire UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi odds and wagers here.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.