UFC 174: Johnson vs Bagautinov, 14 June 2014, Vancouver, Canada
Demetrious Johnson def Ali Bagautinov*
(for the Flyweight Championship)
(unanimous decision 50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Rory MacDonald def Tyron Woodley*
(unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ryan Bader def Rafael Cavalcante*
(unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Andrei Arlovski def Brendan Schaub*
(split decision 29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Ovince St. Preux def Ryan Jimmo(kimura – round 2, 2:10)
Kiichi Kunimoto def Daniel Sarafian
(rear-naked choke – round 1, 2:52)
Valerie Letourneau def Elizabeth Phillips
(split decision 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Yves Jabouin def Mike Easton
(unanimous decision 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Tae Hyun Bang def Kajan Johnson*
(KO punch – round 3, 2:01)
Michinori Tanaka def Roland Delorme
(unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jason Saggo def Josh Shockley
(TKO punches – round 1, 4:57)
*Caged Inspiration’s most anticipated fights
Continue reading for which fights you must see and why!
Demetrious Johnson vs Ali Bagautinov
Lets first start off by saying that this is an incredibly awesome main card. This is the fight for the flyweight championship. Demetrious Johnson is the current champion and Ali Bagautinov is the challenger. The flyweight division is an incredibly exciting division. The fighters size and athleticism gives way to incredible speed, angles, and action. Recently Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson have both shown that knock out power is also something not lacking from the division either. Out of the initial flyweight tournament between Ian McCall, John Dodson, Joseph Benavidez, and Demetrious Johnson, Johnson showed that he was championship material in defeating all three. Since winning the title in 2012, he has defended it against the same people again. Some may argue that the flyweight division is lacking talent and new contenders for the belt. Here come Ali Bagautinov. He joined the UFC in late 2013 and since then has been on a tear in the flyweight division. Ali Bagautinov in our opinion may very well be the person to dethrone Demetrious Johnson. Ali has an incredible background in grappling. He is an International Master of Sports in Sambo and Pankration and is a Master of Sports in Freestyle Wrestling, Hand to hand combat, and Greco-Roman Wrestling. He also has one pro boxing fight. He was the former Fight Night Flyweight Champion.
We are really looking forward to this fight and believe Ali’s incredible grappling background may serve as a problem for Johnson. However wit Matt Hume in his corner, the Champion may very well have game-planned for this already. Can’t wait to see this one.
Rory MacDonald vs Tyron Woodley
This fight is definitely one to look forward to. Especially in determining the next contender for the Welterweight Championship. However the Cage Inspiration team has to comment that this fight came out of quite a strange chain of events. Since entering the UFC, Rory has more than proven that he is an incredible MMA fighter. Previous to 2013, his one and only loss is to Carlos Condit. Although being classified as a relatively safe and “boring” fighter, Rory was building a case for a shot at the title, especially with wins over BJ Penn and Jake Ellenberger. Then Robbie Lawler came onto the scene. In what many thought was a fight to further justify a Rory Macdonald shot at the title, Robbie Lawler disrupted those plans. Tyron Woodley came over to the UFC from Strikeforce. He went undefeated in Strikeforce and fought Nate Marquardt for the Welterweight Championship left vacant by Nick Diaz. Tyron lost that fight. However when moving over to the UFC, Tyron started to build a title-shot case for himself. He defeated Jay Hieron and Josh Koscheck with impressive knock outs in the first round. He was defeated by Jake Shields in a split decision. These fights show that Tyron not only has the ability to knock his opponents out, but also has the ability to grapple with the very best. In March of 2014, Tyron Woodley was up to fight Carlos Condit for a contender position. Tyron Woodley won as Carlos Condit seemed to suffer a freak knee injury. There was talk at the time of Tyron Woodley going directly to fight for the title. We at Cage Inspiration seriously hoped that was not the case. We are both relieved and excited that he will be further tested against a skilled welterweight opponent in Rory MacDonald.
If Tyron Woodley wins this fight, he deserves to be a top welterweight contender. However if Rory MacDonald wins this fight, it only further proves that he is a top welterweight and is about time to give him the title shot. If not before a Robbie Lawler vs Johnnie Hendricks II.
Ryan Bader vs Rafael Cavalcante
We are excited to see both these fighters back in the ring. Rafael Cavalcante is an incredible MMA fighter and was the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion. When Rafael was young, he was on the way to veterinarian school. However he was actively recruited and persuaded to follow a career in MMA by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Cavalcante now trains out of Black House gym with other outstanding Brazilian MMA fighters including the Nogueira brothers, Anderson “the spider” Silva, Lyoto Machida, and Ronald “Jacare” Souza. Cavalcante has won most of his fights via KO or TKO. What makes him an incredible MMA fighter and a danger to Ryan Bader is his knockout power and his skills on the ground. Ryan Bader is a UFC veteran. He was the winner of Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter. This was the same season that featured incredible fighters including Krzysztof Soszynski, Vinny Magalhaes, Eliot Marshall, Kyle Kingsbury, Tom Lawlor, George Roop, Efrain Escudero, and (who could forget) Junie Browning. He has proven his abilities in the cage with wins against Keith Jardine, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Rampage Jackson, and Vladimir Matyushenko. Although Ryan Bader has shown that he has knock out power, he relies more on his wrestling and his ability to control and out-tough his opponents.
Bader vs Cavalcante will make for an exciting fight given Cavalcante’s ground skills and knock out power paired with Bader’s wrestling and heavy hands.
Andrei Arlovski vs Brendan Schaub
We are excited to see the return of Andrei Arlovski. Although we do think that he is about that stage where he should retire…Andrei has had an incredible career in the ring and was one of the youngest UFC Heavyweight Champions. He suffered a series of KO losses and that brought the fight world question his abilities and whether it was even safe for him to continue. Recently Arlovski has shown that he still has it in him with a tough fight against Anthony Johnson and a win over Mike Kyle. We hope to see Andrei Arlovski do well in the UFC cage but at what price? We never really liked Brendan Schaub and don’t think he has truly gone through an all out war in the cage to deserve the fame and attention that he has. He was in The Ultimate Fighter season with Roy Nelson and we like him because of his KO and TKO record. He is famous for beating Gabriel Gonzaga (but when Gonzaga was going through a bit of a rough and uninspired patch). He put his name in the spotlight further with a left kick knock out of an old and near-retired Crocop. He made a fool of himself at Metamoris 2 where he basically spent 20 minutes running away from Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu.
It may seem that Brendan Schaub could have the skill and youth to defeat a perhaps too experienced veteran of the octagon in Arlovski. But we are excited for this fight primarily to see if Arlovski can pull off the upset win.
Kajan Johnson vs Tae Hyun Bang
This is a pure striker vs grappler match-up. Kajan Johnson is fighting out of Tristar Gym and has a lot of experience in the cage. He has won most of his fights primarily via submission. Tae Hyun was the former Neo Fight and DEEP Lightweight Champion. As Kajan has won half his fights via submission, Tae Hyun has won half his fights via TKO or KO.
We are always excited to see a striker vs grappler battle. We are also interested to see how other Tristar Gym fighters do in the UFC now that George St-Pierre is no longer the Welterweight Champion.