Despite some struggles against a bigger, lankier fighter, Kara-France (19-7 MMA, 2-0 UFC) took the split-decision victory over Paiva (18-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with scores of 28-29, 29-28, and 29-28.
The flyweight bout was part of the ESPN prelims at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. It followed prelims on UFC Fight Pass and preceded the pay-per-view main card.
Kara-France got off to a strong start in the first round, tagging Paiva early on with strong right hands and making deft use of his footwork to set up big punches that landed squarely on the mark.
Undeterred, Paiva continued to pursue his man, showing little regard for Kara-France as he looked to make the fight into more of a close-up affair in the second round. That shift in strategy proved mostly effective, helping Paiva slow down the fight and move it to the mat in key moments.
But in the third, Kara-France was back on the move, landing strong shots and mostly controlling the distance in a fight that was clearly close as it headed to the scorecards. The three judges couldn’t agree, but two of them saw it for Kara-France by the slimmest of margins, giving him the win in front of his home crowd.
The victory in his second consecutive UFC bout extends Kara-France’s overall winning streak to seven straight fights. Paiva’s loss snaps a 12-fight winning streak.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 234 results include
Kai Kara-France def. Raulian Paiva via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Kyung Ho Kang def. Teruto Ishihara via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:59
Jalin Turner def. Callan Potter via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:53
Jonathan Martinez def. Wuliji Buren via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
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- UFC 234 results: Kyung Ho Kang chokes out Teruto Ishihara after slugfest
- UFC 234 results: Jalin Turner makes quick work of Callan Potter with 53-second KO
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC 234 results: Kai Kara-France edges out Raulian Paiva in split decision