Amir Albazi Improves To 5-0 In The UFC After Defeating Top Contender Kai Kara-France at UFC Vegas 74
UFC Vegas 74 Main Card Results
Main Event FLW Bout: #7 Amir Albazi Def. #3 Kai Kara-France Via SD (48-47 48-47 47-48)
Fight Notes: Composed start from both men, with Kara-France defending the takedown of Albazi. The remainder of the first round was mostly both fighters feeling each other out.
In round 2 both men continued to pick at each other at range with Kara-France defending the takedowns of Albazi. Albazi was able to time some nice shots from range on the smaller Kara-France. Both men opened up a bit at the end of round 2, landing the longest combinations of the fight.
Albazi is finally able to get Kara-France on the ground but only momentarily, as Kara-France Bounces up. On the second attempt, Albazi is able to fully land the takedown and secure the back of Kara-France. Albazi attempted multiple submission attempts and nearly secured the rear-naked choke but Kara-France miraculously escaped, and ended up on top landing some ground and pound of his own.
Kara-France opened round 4 well on the feet and Albazi attempted another takedown that was defended, both men seemed slow down this round. Round 4 was very competitive neither man finding great moments.
Kara-France started out the final round with an offensive flurry finding his timing against a slowing Albazi. However, Albazi was able to control the back of Kai on the fence momentarily. Albazi began to find his own timing on the feet landing some effective punches. Both men ended the fight with a bang, standing in the middle of the ring exchanging shots.
It was a very competitive fight, with Kara-France being more active on the feet and Albazi having 6 minutes of control time and a very close submission attempt with good moments on the feet as well. Neither man was able to establish their dominance over the 5 rounds.
Albazi improves to 17-1 and 4-0 in the UFC with a top fight in the division in his future. Kara-France falls to 24-10 and 7-4 in the UFC.
Co-Main Event FW Bout: Alex Caceres Def. Daniel Pineda Via UD (29-28 29-28 29-28)
Fight Notes: The fight started out with a lot of grappling sweeps and transitions with both men trying to find their positioning both on the ground and on the cage. Caceres was able to land ground and pound while on top until Pineda transitioned and nearly locked in an arm bar. Caceres showed off his shoulder flexibility with the submission escape. Caceres was able to land an elbow and combination that nearly finished Pineda but he sees the end of round 1.
Round 2 started with a wild exchange after Pineda charged in with a flurry of punches. A grappling exchange ensued Pineda ended up on top and attempted some submissions for the remainder of round 2.
Caceres landed a brutal liver kick to start round 3 but Pineda was able to withstand it, but he was heavily affected by that shot. Caceres was able to take advantage of that and start to get into his offensive flow on the feet. Pineda displayed incredible toughness going the distance and even knocked down Caceres in the closing moments of the fight.
LW Bout: Jim Miller Def. Jesse Butler Via Rd. 1 KO (Punches)
Fight Notes: What a performance from 38-year-old Jim Miller with a round 1 KO of Jesse Butler in the first 30 seconds. Not too much to say other than WOW Jim Miller is aging like fine wine and adds another win to his already record number of UFC wins with 25 and has the second most finished in the UFC with 17. Not a great start to his UFC debut on two days’ notice for Jesse Butler, all the best to him, and massive respect for taking the fight on short notice.
FLW Bout: Tim Elliot Def. Victor Altamirano Via UD (30-27 30-27 29-28)
Fight Notes: Tim Elliot was able to control most of the grappling exchanges and did a great job getting the fight to the ground. Elliot was able to stay busy on top. This continued for most of the fight with Tim Elliot’s funky style being too much for Altamirano to figure out despite landing some occasional shots. Elliot landed 6 takedowns and ended up having 11 minutes of control time while landing ground and pound in the process. Great performance for the UFC veteran.
Women FLW Bout: Karine Silva Def. Ketlen Souza Via Rd 1 Submission (Leg Lock)
Fight Notes: Silva started off with a takedown and got top control quickly. She wasted no time getting a brutal leg lock submission on Souza. Incredible performance from Karine Silva who has finished every one of her victories. She improves to 16-4 with 8 KO/TKO and 8 Submissions. I hope for a healthy return for Souza after her knee was destroyed during that submission. Silva is likely on her way to the top of the division in a few fights time.
WW Bout: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos Def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov via SD (29-28 29-28 28-29)
Fight Notes: Nurmagomedov landed early with his hands and had dos Santos hurt early but opted to pressure him on the cage to follow it up. Dos Santos did a good job keeping it on the feet in round 1. Round 2 was very competitive with both men finding success, Nurmagomedov with cage control and dos Santos with clinch strikes. Dos Santos found some success with his leg kicks in round 3, as well as finding the target with an overhand right. Both men attempt their own submissions to end the fight with neither locking them in. Very competitive fight with neither finding their opportunity to really shine.
UFC Vegas 74 Prelim Results
BW Bout: Daniel Santos Def. Johnny Munoz Via UD (29-27 29-27 29-27)
Fight Notes: The fight, unfortunately, begins with a groin kick on Munoz in the first 10 seconds of the fight. Munoz attempts a flurry of submissions with Santos being able to escape narrowly. The rest of the round mainly consisted of Santos on top but not doing much. Santos was more aggressive on top in round 2 with him landing some ground and pound, but Munoz did well defending and even landing offense off the back. Round 3 started with another low blow against Munoz and Santos has a point taken for the repeated offense. Munoz was able to get top control late in the round but Santos landed a powerful up-kick to get him off and regain top control.
HW Bout: Don’Tale Mayes Def. Andrei Arlovski Via Rd. 2 KO (punch)
Fight Notes: Arlovski landed a big shot early in the first which ended up being the biggest shot of the round until Mayes landed his own punch on Arlovski to end a somewhat slow round 1. A clash of heads stopped the action early in round 2. Mayes found more success in round 2, but Arlovski would respond with his own offense in a much faster-paced round. Mayes finds a right overhand off the jab of the former champion. Sending Arlovski to the canvas and forcing Referee Mark Smith to stop the fight. Beautiful shot placement on the counter for Mayes, after being patient to start the fight.
BW Bout: John Castaneda Def. Muin Gafurov Via UD (29-27 29-27 29-27)
Fight Notes: Castaneda stops the first couple of takedown attempts of Gafurov. Gafurov starts to use his kicks and finds some success mixing in the hands. Castaneda did a good job moving his feet and defending takedowns. This patience paid off when he landed a round-one knockdown with a head kick on Gafurov. Round 2 was a stand-up battle until Castaneda almost locked in a rear naked choke. The war on the feet continued, which unfortunately lead to a clash of heads. Referee Chris Tognoni took a point from Gafurov after the clash of heads. The pace dipped a bit in the third with Castaneda seemingly having more left in the tank. It was a fun and competitive fight with both men having good moments.
UFC Vegas 74 Prelim Results
LW Bout: Muhammad Naimov Def. Jamie Mullarkey Via Rd 2 TKO (Punch)
Fight Notes: Mullarkey controlled most of round one with his sharp standup and superior length against the smaller and less experience Naimov. Mullarkey continued to be in his striking flow, seemingly dominating the fight. Out of now where Naimov landed a beautiful right hand after an overconfident Mullarkey stepped into range without attacking or defending. After what started as a dominant performance for Mullarkey, Naimov steals the show with that comeback KO in his UFC Vegas 74 debut.
Women SW Bout: Elise Reed Def. Jinh Yu Frey Via UD (29-28 29-28 29-28)
Fight Notes: Competetive round 1 but Frey had more control and landed the bigger shots. Round 2 Reed was superior in the standup with Frey having some control time as well. Round 3 Reed seemed to find a nice striking flow but Frey kept it competitive on the standup. Very competitive fight with Frey having over 4 minutes of control time but Reed was more active and effective standing up, which likely won her the fight.
BW Bout: Da’Mon Blackshear Def. Luan Lacerda Via Rd 2 TKO (Punches)
Fight Notes: Lacerda catches Blackshear with a punch early in round 1. The rest of round 1 resulted in grappling scrambles and submission attempts from both men, with Lacerda almost securing a leg lock. After a brief standup battle in round 2, the fight once again ended up in wild scrambles on the ground. In an attempt to get to Blackshear’s legs, Blackshear was able to unload ruthless ground and pound on the defenseless Lacerda, resulting in a TKO. Showing the dangers of overly pursuing leg submissions in the top levels of MMA.
LHW Bout: Philipe Lins Def. Maxim Grishin Via UD (30-27 29-28 29-28)
Fight Notes: Not a super active match but both men did land some big shots on each other throughout the fight. Between the striking exchanges, Lins would control Grishin against the cage. This added up to over 5 minutes of control time for Lins; which is what likely lead to the win. It was not an overly impressive performance from either man.
By Max Rhoades