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UFC on ESPN 46 Main Event Breakdown

116 days ago


A week ago, MMA’s top promotion, the UFC, had a rare bye week due to the Memorial Day holiday. As the calendar turns to June, a summer of (competitive) violence begins this Saturday night.

If you look at the UFC"s upcoming events, barring any postponements of cards, the promotion will be in action every week through Saturday, Aug. 19. That"s 12 consecutive weekends of fights between now and then.

It starts this coming Saturday. ESPN gives its primetime spotlight to the UFC, with the Apex facility playing host to UFC on ESPN 46.

Live coverage of UFC on ESPN 46 kicks off with the undercard at 6 pm ET/ 3 pm PT. Main card action immediately follows at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT.

Flyweight Action Serves as Focus of UFC on ESPN 46 Main Event

All told, absent of any postponed bouts ahead of Saturday, UFC on ESPN 46 will feature a full 13-fight card. Highlighting the slate is a showdown at 125 lbs. in the UFC on ESPN 46 main event.

No. 3 contender Kai Kara-France (24-10, 1 NC MMA, 7-3 UFC), an alumnus of RIZIN Fighting Federation, will face off against No. 7 contender Amir Albazi (16-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) a graduate of Bellator MMALike all UFC main events, Saturday"s headliner is a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close out the show.


UFC on ESPN 46 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the UFC on ESPN 46 main event on Saturday evening, Amir Albazi stands as the taller contender at 5-foot-5, compared to the 5-foot-4 frame of Kai Kara-France. The latter owns a one-inch reach advantage (69 inches to 68 inches) over the former, with Albazi having a one-inch leg reach advantage (38 inches to 37 inches) over Kara-France.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the oddsmakers currently have this fight as a pick-"em. The money line is either near or exactly at even odds (-110 for either fighter.)

If you plan on betting on this or any other MMA fight happening over the weekend, please wager responsibly.

Kai Kara-France Coming in After 10-Month Layoff

Kai Kara-France enters the UFC on ESPN 46 main event having posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights. Most recently, he sustained a third-round knockout due to a liver kick followed by ground and pound shots against Brandon Moreno (21-6-2 MMA,  9-3-2 UFC) in UFC 277 last July for the UFC Interim Flyweight Championship.

Kara-France began training again back in February. Upon returning to camp, he was interviewed by CombatTVAmong other topics, he discussed having to withdraw from a previously-scheduled fight.

“I"ve been taking time off because I"ve been nursing an injury right now," Kara-France said. “I was supposed to be on the card for UFC 284 in Perth, and unfortunately, I had to pull out because of a back injury that I"ve been nursing. It"s good news that I"m finally back in the gym after a few months, one of those things where I just had to rest it, so a blessing in disguise."

With his injuries now fully healed and a training camp now completed, how will Kai Kara-France be able to rebound in the UFC on ESPN 46 main event? Tune in and find out.

Amir Albazi Looks to Run Winning Streak to Six in a Row

In the other corner, Amir Albazi has posted a perfect 5-0 record in his last five fights. Right before the Christmas holiday on Dec. 17, he scored a third-round knockout (uppercut and ground and pound) in UFC Vegas 66 against Alessandro Costa (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

After the fight, Albazi talked to Paul Felder about his performance.

“I"m feeling good. This is what I expected," Albazi said. “I"ve been working with Dewey ‘Black Cobra" (Cooper) for a while now. My striking is getting up there, and that"s why I told you in the [pre-fight] interview, I want to showcase all my skills. People haven"t seen it. Maybe it"s not looking as smooth as everyone else, but you see the power is there."

Amir Albazi is a man who encountered car trouble ahead of UFC Vegas 66 in December. With a victory in the UFC on ESPN 46 main event, he can drive into the winner"s circle and get himself ever closer to the flyweight championship.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC on ESPN 46 main event looks to favor Kai Kara-France, a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, compared to Amir Albazi"s purple belt in BJJ.

Kara-France Can Punch His Way to a Win

Kai Kara-France has been known for his one-punch power. Cody Garbrandt found this out firsthand late in 2021. Midway through the first round, he connected on a tremendous punch to knock Garbrandt down.

Smelling blood, Kara-France landed another punch to wobble Garbrandt, but the latter executed a double-leg takedown, only for the former to return to his feet. From there, Kara-France pieced Garbrandt up with a variety of punches, including a combination against the cage fence, finishing the job with another crisp punch to the head.

As long as Kai Kara-France can land punches in bunches, he"s in good shape. His opponent might have other ideas, though.

Amir Albazi Has Amazing Ground Game

In the other corner, nobody who tunes into the UFC on ESPN 46 main event should discount Amir Albazi"s grappling ability. Just look at the tape of his August fight vs. Francisco Figuereido.

About a minute into the fight, Albazi dumped Figuereido and immediately took top mount. This would be a recurring theme for as long as the fight lasted.

Although Figuereido tried to rise to his feet, Albazi had none of it. He kept him down for much of the period, save for a few moments where the two were in the clinch.

Upon a second takedown, Albazi resumed his dominance, this time from the back mount. He applied the pressure under Figueiredo"s neck to lock in a rear-naked choke with 26 seconds remaining.

Once Amir Albazi takes an opponent down, it"s game on. It would behoove Kai Kara-France to keep the UFC on ESPN 46 main event standing for as long as possible.

Final Thoughts

This headlining bout has ramifications as it relates to the flyweight championship picture in the future. For Kai Kara-France, a victory here puts him right back into the conversation for the strap.

If Amir Albazi wins the UFC on ESPN 46 main event, he could find himself in the top-5 at 125 on Monday morning to set up a championship eliminator later on this year or early next year. Don"t miss this one.

Prediction: Kai Kara-France by Unanimous Decision.

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