Vancouver welcomed the UFC with open arms as Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov squared off in the main event. In what was considered “The People’s Main Event”, Canadian Rory MacDonald schooled Tyron Woodley in the co main event, much to the delight from the Canadian faithful attending the event. The Ultimate Fighting Championship will not be in action until June 28, when they will once again hold two fight cards in one day. There will be two Fight Nights, as Nate Marquardt will take on James Te Huna in Auckland, New Zealand on the first card. Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens will square off on the evening card, which will take place in San Antonio, Texas. The Guardian Liberty Voice will be covering that event, live, from the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Demetrious Johnson defeats Ali Bagautinov via Unanimous Decision The climb up the pound for pound ranks continues for Demtrious Johnson, as “Mighty Mouse” picked apart his Russian foe in every facet of Mixed Martial Arts. Bagautinov was just outclassed at every aspect of the fight by the champion. When Ali clinched and tried to grapple with the champ, he was met by a mean Muay Thai clinch that delivered nasty knees and quick elbows in every encounter. The challenger thought his take downs and clinch game would work to his advantage, nay said the defending champion as he was just simply better in each exchange. Speed and quickness in and out of angles worked to Johnson’s advantage in the striking department, and when Ali was able to land a take down; the flyweight king bounced back up immediately, and circled his way out of the clinch. Just another impressive showing by the 125 lb. champion, continuing a reign that does not look like it will end any time soon.
Rory MacDonald defeats Tyron Woodley via Unanimous Decision Talk about making a statement. MacDonald controlled the fight from beginning to end, keeping constant pressure on the overwhelmed Woodley. Right out the gate, the UFC welterweight got right into Tyron’s face. “Ares” bullied Woodley along the cage, and never gave him any room to breathe. The combinations of punches to kicks were flawless by the Canadian fighter, as he stalked Woodley practically throughout the first two rounds and landing at will. Tyron came out swinging in the third round, and did clip MacDonald with a heavy shot, but was not able to capitalize on the opportunity. Woodley did not have an answer for MacDonald’s offense, and seemed to be lacking in the offensive arsenal himself. The dominant performance should put Rory MacDonald in line for a UFC welterweight title shot, he may have to wait it out though, with the winner of Lawler versus Brown getting the first shot at champion, Johny Hendricks.
Ryan Bader defeats Rafael Cavalcante via Unanimous Decision As predicted in the preview for UFC 174, all Bader had to do was avoid the early on power from Cavalcante, and pick his opportunities to score the take down. Ryan Bader did just that as he moved in and out of the range of Cavalcante, and used his wrestling experience to take the striker down for the better of two rounds. The Brazilian came out on a mission in the third, throwing bombs hoping desperately that one of them would land on Bader. A few punches were able to find their home, but Bader was able to compose himself and land another take down to close out the third round. Bader is starting to figure out his recipe for success, expect a top ten opponent for “Darth” in the near future.
Andrei Arlovski defeats Brendan Schaub via Split Decision Not many saw this to be such a stinker of a fight on paper, but boy was it. The result was very surprising, especially upon the return of UFC Heavyweight striking specialist, Andrei Arlovski. The two fighters did not give much to analyze for this fight. Throughout two rounds, the fighters failed to engage one another, and when they did, Arlovski would press Schaub against the cage and do absolutely nothing. Schaub was able to get Arlovski to the ground in the third, with somehow Arlovski becoming the aggressor from the bottom; landing short elbows and punches in the guard position. At the end of the fight, it seemed as if Schaub went through a war that was not portrayed in the cage, as he had a gruesome amount of swelling on the side of his face. Arlovski was able to sneak out of the cage with a controversial decision victory, though Dana White stated later “The fans got robbed in that fight.” That statement alone sums up the lack of entertainment in that heavyweight bout.
Ovince St. Preux defeats Ryan Jimmo via TKO (Verbal Tap) St. Preux has officially put the light heavyweight division on notice after breaking Ryan Jimmo’s arm in the second round. There was not a clear indicator when or how St. Preux broke his arm, the prospect thinks it could have been from a possible “chicken wing”, a known wrestling technique. A unique size and power may guide this 31 year old prospect to contendership status. He finished with a Vonn Flute choke, and his most recent bout with a chicken wing. One may ask, what is next? Ovince St. Preux has now won four in a row in the light heavyweight division, something that only champion Jon Jones has done in the division. A possible match up could be Bader versus St. Preux, as they both discussed the potential match up in the post fight conference.
Kiichi Kunomoto defeats Daniel Sarafian via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Valerie Letourneau defeats Elizabeth Phillips via Split Decision
Yves Jabouin defeats Mike Easton via Unanimous Decision
Tae Hyun Bang defeats Kajan Johnson via KO (Punch)
Michinori Tanaka defeats Roland Delorme via Unanimous Decision
Jason Saggo defeats Josh Shockley via TKO (Strikes)
Tae Hyun Bang made out handsomely from UFC 174. He won “Fight of the Night” honors with Kajan Johnson and also won a “Performance of the Night” bonus with his devastating one-punch knockout of Johnson. The two ladies also had themselves quite a slug-fest, which could have been in the running for “Fight of the Night” honors as well. Letourneau and Phillips both had less than a three weeks notice to fight one another, and performed brilliantly in front of the live crowd.
For all your live coverage of Mixed Martial Arts, and everything UFC related, continue to follow the MMA Spotlight section for all the current news, as well as pre and post fight news with full results of each bout.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s coverage in the MMA Spotlight section
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA