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Kai Kara-France Welcomes The Pressure


Not only is this weekend the first time Albazi has been thrust into the spotlight since arriving in the UFC, but it’s also the first time that the surging 29-year-old will be standing across the Octagon from a ranked opponent, as well.

While he’s previously been booked to faced divisional stalwarts Tim Elliott, Alex Perez, and Brandon Royval at different points in the past, none of those bouts came to fruition, with each having to withdraw from the scheduled contests for different reasons, leaving Albazi to face a collection of replacement opponents and less established foes.

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To his credit, the Las Vegas-based hopeful has constantly lobbied for the opportunity to share the Octagon with the best the division has to offer, and Kara-France is eager to test whether he genuinely means that or not this weekend.

“It’s when I land the first hard shot,” he answered when asked how he will discern whether Albazi truly wants to be in there with him on Saturday. “If he bites down and comes back, then he wants to fight, and if he doesn’t, it will show.

“I’ve landed my right hand on many people before — Cody Garbrandt was a prime example. He overlooked me, I hit him with the first right hand that landed, and it was all downhill from there.”

Not everyone in Kara-France’s position would be keen on facing an ascending, but untested fighter like Albazi, focusing instead of trying to find someone closer to them in the rankings or brandishing a bigger name to face off against, especially coming off a championship fight.

But the New Zealander recognizes that these are the type of fights that come with being stationed near the top of the division, and he relishes the opportunity to steal his opponent’s momentum as he builds towards another run at UFC gold.

Official Scorecards | UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi


UFC returns to UFC APEX with a high stakes matchup in the flyweight division, as No. 3 ranked contender Kai Kara-France faces rising No. 7 Amir Albazi. Also on the card, No. 15 ranked featherweight contender Alex Caceres faces Daniel Pineda

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KARA-FRANCE vs. ALBAZI will take place Saturday, June 3 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (English and Spanish) starting at 9 pm ET / 6 pm.] PT, with the prelims exclusively ESPN+ at 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT.

Main event scheduled for five rounds. All other bouts scheduled for three rounds. | Results, Highlights & More 

UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi Scorecards 

Philipe Lins vs Maxim Grishin 

UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi Results


UFC returns to UFC APEX with a high stakes matchup in the flyweight division, as No. 3 ranked contender Kai Kara-France faces rising No. 7 Amir Albazi. Also on the card, No. 15 ranked featherweight contender Alex Caceres faces Daniel Pineda

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KARA-FRANCE vs. ALBAZI will take place Saturday, June 3 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (English and Spanish) starting at 9 pm ET / 6 pm.] PT, with the prelims exclusively ESPN+ at 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT.

Main event scheduled for five rounds. All other bouts scheduled for three rounds. | Official Scorecards

UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi Results

UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi Prelim Fight Results 

Philipe Lins vs Maxim Grishin 

  • Philipe Lins (16-5, fighting out of Coconut Creek, FL by way of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil) and Maxim Grishin (32-9-2, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) collide in a light heavyweight bout

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Da’Mon Blackshear vs Luan Lacerda

  • Bantamweights Da’Mon Blackshear (12-5-1, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) and Luan Lacerda (12-2, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) look to steal the show

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Elise Reed vs Jinh Yu Frey

  • Strawweight action sees Elise Reed (6-3, fighting out of Princeton, N.J.) lock horns with Jinh Yu Frey (11-8, fighting out of Arlington, Texas)

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Jamie Mullarkey vs Muhammad Naimov 

  • Jamie Mullarkey (16-5, fighting out of Holgate, NSW, Australia) meets Muhammad Naimov (8-2, fighting out of Dushanbe, Tajikistan) in a lightweight battle

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

John Castaneda vs Muin Gafurov 

  • John Castaneda (19-6, fighting out of Minneapolis, Minn.) faces Muin Gafurov (18-4, fighting out of Dushanbe, Tajikistan) in a bantamweight bout 

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Andrei Arlovski vs Don’Tale Mayes 

  • Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (34-21 2 NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) faces Don’Tale Mayes (9-5 1 NC, fighting out of Louisville, Ky.)

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Daniel Santos vs Johnny Munoz

  • Bantamweights Daniel Santos (10-2, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Johnny Munoz (12-2, fighting out of Norco, Calif.) collide in a thrilling bout

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi Main Card Fight Results 

Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos 

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Karine Silva vs Ketlen Souza 

  • Dana White’s Contender Series signee Karine Silva (15-4, fighting out of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil) looks to spoil the UFC debut of Ketlen Souza (13-3, fighting out of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil) at flyweight

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Tim Elliott vs Victor Altamirano 

  • No. 11 ranked flyweight Tim Elliott (19-12-1, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.) defends his spot in the rankings against Victor Altamirano (12-2, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas by way of Mexico City, Mexico)

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Jim Miller vs Jesse Butler 

  • Lightweight veteran Jim Miller (35-17 1 NC, fighting out of Sparta, N.J.) returns against newcomer Jesse Butler (12-4, fighting out of West Monroe, LA) in a short-notice bout 

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Co-Main Event: Alex Caceres vs Daniel Pineda 

  • An exciting featherweight bout sees No. 15 ranked contender Alex Caceres (20-13 1 NC, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) match up against Daniel Pineda (28-14 3 NC, fighting out of Houston, Texas)

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Main Event: Kai Kara-France vs Amir Albazi 

  • Kai Kara-France (24-10 1 NC, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand) looks to cement himself as a title threat in the flyweight division in his UFC main event debut. A City Kickboxing product, Kara-France earned a shot at the 125-pound strap following victories over Cody Garbrandt, Rogerio Bontorin and Askar Askarov. He now intends to defend his spot in the rankings against Albazi in his first Octagon appearance of 2023.
  • Surging prospect Amir Albazi (16-1, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. by way of Baghdad, Iraq) aims to make the most of the biggest opportunity of his MMA career by taking out Kara-France. Undefeated in the UFC, he has secured victories over Malcolm Gordon, Francisco Figueiredo and Alessando Costa. Albazi now plans to leave no doubt that he can compete with the best in the world and vault to the top of the flyweight ranks.

Watch on ESPN+ | Official Scorecards

Ketlen Souza | Welcome To The UFC


When people meet Ketlen Souza for the first time, they often ask about her nickname, „Esquentadinha,“ which, translated from Portuguese, means „hot-headed.“ We couldn’t resist asking either when she made her first trip to Las Vegas, where she’ll make her promotional debut this Saturday vs Karine Silva at UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi.

„It actually comes from an interview I did,“ she explains. Exhausted after weighing in for one of her first fights, Souza was hounded by a reporter trying to talk to her while she was busy trying to replenish her fluids. “I was getting myself re-hydrated, so I was a little stressed. And he kept bothering me.

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“I said: ‘Bro, I don’t feel like it right now! Just leave me alone sitting here on the floor.’ He said, ‘You’re really hot-headed!’ and it caught on to this day.”

There’s nothing hot-headed about her demeanor today. The flyweight is all smiles as she takes in the sights and sounds of the UFC Apex for the first time, taking photos, visiting the Octagon and happily giving interviews. It’s the culmination of years of hard work, the realization of a goal within striking distance. She says, “The penny still hasn’t dropped,” the Brazilian way of saying it hasn’t hit her yet.

Saturday’s Full Fight Card Preview

“I got really emotional and happy because it’s a dream come true to be part of the world’s biggest event, the UFC. Man, I can’t believe I’m here.”

She thinks back on humble beginnings in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

“I come from a really poor neighborhood and a coach called me,” she explains of her MMA introduction. “So I went to see what it was like. I liked it and I’m still here.”

Indeed, she is. Since turning pro in 2016, she has been collecting championship belts like they were Inifinity Stones: Mr. Cage Championship, King Of The Jungle, Star Combate, SFT and, most recently, Invicta FC. Her endgame is to add the UFC women’s flyweight strap to that collection.

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A student of Coach Cristiano Carioca, she’s honed an aggressive  style that runs closer to her ‘hot-headed’ moniker than her calm and gregarious demeanor.

“I’m very technical and, at the same time, very explosive. That’s why you can’t read me. If I want to do something, I will. I don’t even care if it’ll work or not.”

Historically, most things have worked for her. To date, her professional record is 13-3, and she rides a five-fight winning streak into Saturday’s bout with fellow Brazilian Silva. There’s a submission victory on her résumé, but it’s her fists that have done most of the talking. Seven of her victories have come by knockout, four of those in the first round.

That dangerous game hasn’t gone unnoticed by the UFC matchmakers, who have thrown her into the deep end with the main card matchup vs the rising Silva. An alumnus of Dana White’s Contender Series, Silva brings a six-fight win streak and a lethal submission game into Saturday’s contest.

MORE FIGHT NIGHT: Amir Albazi | Elise Reed | Victor Altamirano

“We couldn’t study her that much, because there isn’t that much footage on her,” says Souza. She says this not in a voice of concern, but more like a child eager to see what surprise awaits.

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“We got some of her highlights. And from what I could see, she’s a striker with some knockouts in her career. But she also has some submissions. So we’re ready for everything. I said that we should do a mix of things and work on top of everything.”

A mix that she hopes contains one specific ingredient.

“I want a knockout. I can’t debut without getting a knockout.”

Statement On Jose De Souza


De Souza, 20, tested positive for 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) and 19-noretiocholanolone, both metabolites of nandrolone (19-nortestosterone) and other prohibited 19-norsteroids, as the result of a sample collected out-of-competition on March 8, 2023. Nandrolone and other 19-norsteroids are non-Specified Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.

Upon being added to the UFC Anti-Doping Program, athletes are required to declare prohibited substances they have used in the previous 12 months. An athlete who makes such declaration will not be deemed to have committed a violation but, depending on the substance, may be required to refrain from competition for a period of at least six months and provide at least two negative samples. De Souza did not declare the use of nandrolone and/or other 19-norsteroids on his onboarding declaration forms.

De Souza’s two-year period of ineligibility began on March 8, 2023, the date his positive sample was collected.

USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. In an effort to aid UFC athletes, as well as their support team members, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on the UFC Anti-Doping Program website ( regarding the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.

In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (, conducts educational sessions, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List and periodic athlete alerts. Many of the resources available to athletes are provided in multiple languages, including Russian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese.

Reat Full Statement Here

The Weight Is Off Jinh Yu Frey’s Shoulders


“We have a big trip scheduled a month or two after the fight,” Frey said. “Usually after each fight my husband and I would pick a country and we’d travel and go off in the wilderness and disappear for a while. During the pandemic we couldn’t go anywhere, so now that things are easing up, we’re getting back to being able to plan something ahead of time. I work really hard through camp. I get through the camp and then I have something at the end to look forward to and relax and unwind.

“We’re doing a section of the E5, it’s a trek through the Alps. It starts in Germany and ends in Italy so it’s just straight up and down through the mountains.”

Order UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana

So now with the weight of her previous loss completely off her shoulders, Frey returns to the Octagon this Saturday to challenge Elise Reed at UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi. Feeling like she never got the chance to show fans what she’d been working on in her last fight, Frey’s eager to showcase all the skills she’s developed over the last seven months.

“I’ve been working hard,” Frey said. “I worked hard this camp, and I didn’t get a chance to show it, but I feel like I’ve made a lot of improvements and I’m super motivated to go in there and get my hand raised. I think it’s a great matchup for me and you never know what’s going to happen.”

Like training camp, Frey hasn’t set any strict guidelines to how she must fight, nor has she set any personal goals that she needs to hit in the fight. As she gets older, Frey believes there’s no reason to add any unnecessary pressure toward something that she just simply enjoys doing.

Valter Ignacio Aims To Follow In His Brother’s Footsteps At Titan FC 82 | UFC Fight Pass


In the world of mixed martial arts, a pair of successful brothers is a rarity cherished by fans and fighters alike. Over the past few decades, we’ve witnessed the rise of the Diaz Brothers, the Nogueira Brothers, the Pettis brothers, and perhaps one day, the Walker Brothers.

Well…kind of. Unbeknownst to many, UFC light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker has a younger brother who is an elite heavyweight prospect, touting an 11-0 record in under three years of pro experience. He goes by the name of Valter Ignacio, an intentional decision made to keep himself out of the shadow of his older brother.

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“I changed my name because I’m tired of people all asking me all the time if I’m really the brother of Johnny,” Ignacio said. “I’m his younger brother, so our family used to call me Valtinho because I was smaller, but now I’m the bigger one.”

Despite Ignacio’s desires to maintain a mixed martial arts identity separate from his brother, the two have kept a close bond.

Order UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana

“My relationship with Johnny is very good,” Ignacio said. “We talk everyday about training, about food, about focus in the fight, and we play video games almost every evening before sleeping.”

And while many pairs of legendary MMA brothers did their training together, Valter made the decision to train in Russia, away from Johnny, who fights out of SBG Ireland. But even though the two aren’t training partners, Valter still takes inspiration from his brother’s fighting style.

“I have a similar style to Johnny because he got me started in MMA. He got me started in the sport, but I believe I have more weapons than him,” Ignacio said.

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Valter looks to improve to 12-0 at this weekend’s Titan FC 82 card and is proud of the career he’s put together at such a young age.

“I believe I’m going to win my fight and become 12-0,” Ignacio said. “I’m not scared to lose. I’ve only been training for four years, I’m 25 years old, and every day I’m training and learning in the gym. Whenever the UFC calls me, I’m ready to come.”

Elise Reed Is Practicing Patience


“We’re both strikers, and if she wants to go toe to toe, I’m more than happy to do that,” Reed said. “I think I’ve showcased in my previous (fights) that if we want to go striking, I’ll go striking, but I think I’m excited to see where this one rolls out, whether it’s standing up or on the ground or against the cage. I think you’re going to see the changes that we’ve implemented over the last eight weeks come to fruition.”

After building her 4-0 record, Reed has alternated between wins and losses since joining the UFC. Keeping with that trend, she should get her hand raised this weekend, but that’s not how things work.

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Even so, Reed is hopeful that she has made the necessary adjustments to find consistency in the Octagon and stop the roller coaster of results.

“To put it frankly, it sucks,” she said. “It’s not what fighters want to do. It’s not something that you expect, but in all those losses, I’ve learned a lot. Every loss has been a huge lesson, and as much as it’s been back and forth in the UFC, I think this fight I’m coming out with a lot of experience because of those. I’m excited to go on from here and put a streak together.”

30-21 | UFC Top 30 Current Male Athletes


A lot will be on the line the next time we see Khamzat Chimaev step in the Octagon.

Chimaev is 6-0 in the UFC, with stunning wins over Gerald Meerschaert, Li Jingliang, and Kevin Holland. His win over Gilbert Burns might be most impressive, though, as the two welterweights turned in a Fight of the Year contender in 2022.

Chimaev’s next fight could be at welterweight or middleweight, and that’s one of the things that is most interesting and terrifying about “Borz,” as he brings so much mystery and skill to the table that fight fans are on the edge of their seats when he competes.

27 – Belal Muhammad



This season of The Ultimate Fighter could be the biggest in the show’s history, as former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor and No. 5-ranked lightweight contender Michael Chandler go head-to-head as coaches. 


Under the expanded partnership, Air National Guard will become the first-ever Official Fight Kit Partner of The Ultimate Fighter, entitling Air National Guard to place their branding on the TUF fight kits as worn by the athletes in competition, as well as on fight kit apparel worn by the athletes and their corner coaches. In addition, Air National Guard will have prominent branding in and around the TUF Octagon®, including featured displays on the state-of-the-art outer LED decking and on the UFC Fight Clocks, UFC’s innovative LED time-keeping system. 

The new agreement builds upon the relationship UFC and the Air National Guard originally formed in 2022. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with the Air National Guard and highlighting their branding across our most valuable assets, our live events and must-see programming like The Ultimate Fighter,” said Grant Norris-Jones, UFC Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships. “UFC is a long-time supporter of the men and women of the U.S. military and reserve forces, and we’re proud to lend our platforms to help raise awareness for the incredible work they perform and the career opportunities they offer.” 

„We are thrilled to expand our partnership with UFC to bring awareness to the Air National Guard and the share the opportunities we have available to serve our country,” said Maj. Gen. Konata Crumbly, Air National Guard advisor to the Air Force Recruiting Service commander. “We share a mutual respect and commitment to excellence, and this partnership allows us to reach a broader audience and showcase the skills and abilities of our ANG Airmen.“ 


In addition to its significant branded exposure on TUF 31, Air National Guard will receive enhanced broadcast features and commercial inventory within all UFC Pay-Per-Views, including the Presenting Sponsorship of one Keys to Victory segment during the main card of each Pay Per View. Air National Guard will also receive prominent placement on the canvass of UFC’s world-famous Octagon during all U.S.-based Pay Per Views and Fight Nights. Air National Guard will also activate during International Fight Week in July, the annual celebration of all things UFC, with a special presentation at UFC X, the popular Fan Expo. 

UFC and Air National Guard will also collaborate on a variety of custom and original content that will be distributed across UFC’s popular social media channels and digital platforms, showcasing UFC athletes participating in official visits to U.S. Air Force bases and interacting with members of the Air National Guard. 

In addition, the agreement provides for an annual Brand Ambassador fund that will offer significant paid marketing opportunities to participating UFC athletes. 

Episodes of TUF 31 will be available to stream on demand on ESPN+ every Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET, following the conclusion of their ESPN network debut at 10 p.m. ET


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