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What a packed weekend! UFC 175, TUF Finale and WSOF all deliver!

It was a memorable week in Vegas and in the world of MMA. The UFC held it’s annual Fan Expo this 4th of July week culminating with UFC 175 and the The Ultimate Fighter Finale the very next day with World Series of Fighting managing to air an event as well. It was definitely a super sized portion of MMA and we loved every minute of it. From Justin Gaethje snapping Nick Newell’s impressive undefeated streak in WSOF’s main event, to Chris Weidman finally moving out of the shadow of Anderson Silva and putting on an impressive performance against Lyoto Machida. Franke Edgar put an end to the fighting career of BJ Penn and oh yeah…did you happen to catch the Ronda Rousey fight? All :16 seconds of it? It’s times like these that make you feel grateful being an MMA fan. In case you happened to miss any of the action check out some of the video highlights below! {youtube}c8HhvH2qYN4{/youtube}

UFC 174 results: Johnson and MacDonald establish dominance

 

article by Adam LeBarr/ video courtesy of Fox Sports

UFC 174, in Vancouver, BC was filled with dominance, excitement and moments where if you blinked, you missed significant moments. This was the first time flyweights would main-event a PPV (pay-per-view) fight card, and they showed the fans why they deserve recognition and why they deserve to be in the top spot.

 

 

 Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ryan Jimmo wasn't the most exciting fight, but not a terrible start to the PPV fight card. 

 The first round didn't have a ton of action - a few solid strikes landed for Saint Preux, bloodying the nose of Jimmo. Heading into the second round, Jimmo immediately rushed OSP, pushing him to the cage. Moving along, Saint Preux was able to grab the leg of Jimmo on a failed kick attempt, then putting him to the mat. Just minutes into the round, Jimmo while on the bottom yelled to the referee: "it's broken, it's broken!" -- Saint Preux pried Jimmo's arm back, just to make sure the fight would end there. 

 Ovince Saint Preux victorious by way of verbal tap. 

 

 

 Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub was lackluster, especially in the first 2 rounds of the fight.

 Heading into the 3rd round, it looked to have been one round a piece for each (Schaub and Arlovski). In the 3rd round, Schaub successfully gained a takedown, where most of the damage done would be delivered. After dominating on the mat, Schaub was forced by 'The Pitbull' to get back to his feet, where Arlovski would land with a few shots of his own -- one puffing out the cheek of Schaub.

 Ultimately, via: Split decision, Arlovski came out on top, which was a bit of a surprise for some. Arlovski in his return looked very hesitant, also while in the clinch with Schaub, it was more of him keeping control, rather then moving forward.

 

 

 In the Bader/Cavalcante fight, long story short, it was pure domination for Ryan Bader. 

 From round 1 until the end of the fight, Bader overwhelmed Cavalcante with takedowns. Though most were defended, Bader would ultimately get the fight to the mat. In the 3rd round, Cavalcante finally looked to have opened up, but not for long. 

 Rafael Cavalcante had close to zero head/foot movement, showing no respect for the power Bader posses. In the end, Ryan Bader was the victor  by way of unanimous decision. All three judges had the fight 30-27. 

 

 

 In the co-main event of the evening, Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley went head to head, both looking to make a statement, searching for a title shot against current champion Johny Hendricks.

 Throughout the fight, in every aspect, Rory MacDonald dominated Tyron Woodley. If the fight wasn't on the mat, it was MacDonald taking octagon control, pushing Woodley back to the cage. 

 After his performance, he earned a dominant decision victory. He states post fight; He knows there's a big fight coming up (Brown vs. Lawler), but says he's ready. "The belt will be mine". Says he respects the UFC's decision to grant winner of that fight a titleshot. MacDonald happy with whoever the UFC puts him up against next. 

 

 

 Demetrious Johnson, the only champion ever inside the flyweight division took on Ali Bagautinov -- After tonight, it's hard not to say Johnson is the #1 P4P (pound for pound) fighter in the world. 

 In their main-event war, Johnson threw and landed an outrageous number of strikes, but Bagautinov would show no signs of defeat. There were a few times Bagautinov looked to have hurt Johnson, but unsuccessful in a follow up or finish. 

 Johnson, one of, if not the fastest man in the UFC, completely out struck the man (Ali Bagautinov) trying to take the title away from him. Bagautinov is normally a dominant fighter, but tonight, he was completely overwhelmed by the champion, Johnson. 

 The fight reached the end of the 5th, bringing both Johnson and Bagautinov to a final decision, where Johnson had all three judges scoring the fight in his favor, 50-45. 

 

 

 Post-fight, Joe Rogan reminded Johnson that basically everyone worthy/top of the flyweight division is someone he’s already defeated. 'Might Mouse' replied he plans on remaining the king of the division, knocking down anyone who steps up.

 

 

 

Main card:

Demetrious Johnson def. Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision 

Rory MacDonald def. Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision 

Ryan Bader def. Rafael Cavalcante via unanimous decision

Andrei Arlovski def. Brendan Schaub via split decision 

Ovince St. Preux def. Ryan Jimmo via second-round TKO (verbal)

 

Undercard:

Kiichi Kunomoto def. Daniel Sarafian via submission (rear-naked choke)

Valerie Letourneau def. Elizabeth Phillips via split decision 

Yves Jabouin def. Mike Easton via unanimous decision 

Tae Hyun Bang def. Kajan Johnson via third-round KO (2:01) 

Michinori Tanaka def. Roland Delorme via unanimous decision (30-27 x3) 

Jason Saggo def. Josh Shockley via first-round TKO (4:57)

Fight of the Night: Tae Hyun Bang & Kajan Johnson

Performance of the Night: Tae Hyun Bang & Kiichi Kunimoto

UFC 174 Predictions

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(image via Zuffa, LLC/ article by Adam LeBarr)

 

 

To the real fans of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), it's finally happening, the 125lbs division will be the headlining fight of a PPV (Pay-Per-View) event. 

 Previously, the flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson has defended his title on free T.V - It be a Fight Night card, or featured on FOX. Now, after building a greater fan base and showing what the 125lbs weight division is all about, he's set to defend his title in UFC 174's main event against Ali Bagautinov.

 

 

Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ryan Jimmo - 

 

 

 

  Saint Preux is currently on an impressive 4 fight win streak in the light heavyweight division, but his opponent, Jimmo, has the skills and tools to provide the fans in Vancouver with an upset. 

 

 Saint Preux is currently ranked #13 in the world within the 205lbs division - Considering Ryan Jimmo is yet to achieve a top 15 rank, this may spark a fire under the ass of Jimmo, making him a huge threat in their up-and-coming bout. 

 

 Despite what Jimmo may feel towards rankings and putting on an upset, on this one, I'm sticking to the numbers. Again, Ovince is on a great streak, and only getting better and better with every fight he takes.

 

 

 

Pick: Ovince Saint Preux

 

 

Brendan Schaub vs. Andrei Arlovski - 

 

 

 

 A warning; I may have a bias opinion on this one due to Arlovski being a favorite growing up as a kid. However, his 'welcome back' opponent isn't going to be a "walk in the park" for Arlovski. 

 

 

 Brendan Schaub, TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) contender on the 10th season, has grown a great deal within the world of MMA since his finale loss to Roy Nelson. Schaub is currently riding a 2 fight win streak, defeating Lavar Johnson and Matt Mitrione. Since his last victory, it has been 9 months since he last stepped foot inside the UFC octagon. We've seen 'ring rust', we've also witnessed fighters returning to the cage better then when they left. Schaub has recently moved, hoping the new environment will help point him in the right direction for a title run.  

 

 

 

 Arlovski is also on a 2 fight win streak. In the most recent years he has turned his fighting career completely around, as I'm sure you knew with him signing back with the UFC after 6 years of being away - fighting elsewhere. Late 2011, 'The Pitbull' picked up a TKO victory over Ray Lopez, it was nothing but success from that point forward. 

 

 

 

 In his return to the UFC, I can only assume Arlovski plans on making a huge statement towards Brendan Schaub, as well as the rest of the division. Dana White in a media scrum stated: "Arlovski is reaching the end of his career" - This weekend we find out. 

 

 

 

Pick: Andrei Arlovski

 

 

 

Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante 

 

 

 Ryan Bader, ranked #9 in the 205lbs division has his eyes set on a title run. Though hes been close, he hasn't quite reached that level of combat competition. Cavalcante, ranked #12, has had a taste of gold. Prior to the UFC buying out Strikeforce, Cavalcante defeated 'King' Mo, obtaining the light heavyweight Strikeforce championship. Cavalcante is in search of his lost treasure, as to where Bader is looking for what was once almost in reach. 

 

 

 

 What impressed me was Ryan Bader's fight with Glover Teixeira - He lost, but rocked and looked to be just moment away from walking out of the octagon victorious against a man who was on a 20 fight win streak. 

 

 Bader has fought a long list of top UFC veterans, and will be looking to use that experience against Cavalcante. 

 

 

 

Pick: Ryan Bader

 

 

 

Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley - 

 

 

 

 After Georges St-Pierre walked out of UFC 171 victorious after a controversial decision against Johny Hendricks, the French Canadian stated he needed a break from MMA. Shortly after making his statement in the octagon and in the post-fight press conference, on a conference call with Dana White and St-Pierre, he announced he was stepping away from the sport officially, giving up the title. This completely opened up the Welterweight division. 

 

 

 Since GSP has left (for now(we hope)), Lawler, Brown, Woodley, MacDonald + more have moved to the top of the division, all racing for a shot at the new title holder, Johny Hendricks. Matt Brown is set to take on Robbie Lawler in a no.1 contender bout, and at UFC 174 in the co-main event, Rory MacDonald takes on Tyron Woodley, and depending on the fight outcome, winner may be faced with a shot at gold. 

 

 

 

 MacDonald, ranked #2 and Woodley, ranked #3 are set to enter the UFC octagon, looking to prove either one of them is ready for the top position in the welterweight division, currently held by Johny Hendricks since St-Pierre's leave. 

 

 

 

 Both MacDonald and Woodley are coming off of impressive performances, now it's all about who truly wants it more. MacDonald for a while now has been top 5 in the 170lbs division, states he's only getting better and with his last victory over Damian Maia, it shows. 

 

 

 

Pick: Rory MacDonald

 

 

 

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov - 

 

 In the main event, for the flyweight title, champion Demetrious Johnson takes on Ali Bagautinov. This will be the first time a 125lbser has headlined a PPV fight card. 

 

 Going into this fight, Demetrious Johnson over and over again has proven he's faster, stronger and an all around better fighter than anyone within the flyweight division - all but one. 

 

 Bagautinov is currently riding an 11 fight win streak, and last February, Bagautinov got the unanimous decision victory over John Lineker, solidifying his shot at the title. 

 

 Everyone that has built up an impressive enough resume to take on Johnson has fallen. Every fight, Johnson gets faster, and more explosive, as we saw in his last title defense against rival Joseph Benavidez. 

 

 

 

Pick: Demetrious Johnson

 

 

 

 Main card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov

Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley

Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante

Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub

Ryan Jimmo vs. Ovince St. Preux

 

Undercard (FX at 8 p.m. ET)

Daniel Sarafian vs. Kiichi Kunimoto

Valerie Letourneau vs. Milana Dudieva

Yves Jabouin vs. Mike Easton

Kajan Johnson vs. Tae Hyun Bang

 

Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. ET)

Roland Delorme vs. Michinori Tanaka

Jason Saggo vs. Josh Shockley

UFC 173 Recap: Dillashaw dominates Barao

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{youtube}pQ_7hQ7Y4a0{/youtube}

 Victory never tastes so sweet. Article by Adam LeBarr/image via Zuffa LLC/Getty Images, video via UFConFox

 

 

You know those lackluster UFC events that people pay for, and then rant a rave because they're not happy with their purchase (due to "boring" fights)? Tonight, with what's being posted on all social networks and media websites, I can almost guarantee there's more people wishing they got the UFC 173 PPV fight card.  

 May 24th, in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC history was made. What was one of the most stacked fight cards of 2014, it certainly wouldn't disappointing. The card was impressive, from top to bottom, filled with nothing but talent. 

 

 

 The first two fights of the PPV fight card; James Krause vs. Jamie Varner and Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera. Both were high energy and exciting, also a little disappointing and sad. The good: Mizugaki vs. Rivera was a high energy fight. Though Mizugaki dominated most of the fight, Rivera held on, taking the fight to a decision where Takeya Mizugaki was announced victorious. The bad: Mid-way through round #1 of his fight, Varner sustained an injury to his ankle. It got to the point he would collapse to the mat, after giving all he had to give. He fought all the way to the bell, but announced to his corner he injured (possibly broke) his ankle, and the fight was stopped there. 

 

 Robbie Lawler, after his upsetting loss to Johny Hendricks, made it his mission to remain active, work hard, and be back in the octagon ASAP (as soon as possible (you should know this)). Welcoming him back, after only a short period of time was Jake Ellenberger, ranked #4 inside the welterweight division and looked at to be a future champion. 

 

 Early in the fight, Lawler quickly let Ellenberger know he's not wasting anytime. He would proceed to throw hard hitting head kicks, as well as a list of other strikes. After easily dominating the first 2 rounds, it was the third and final round Lawler would put Ellenberger to the mat, where he would finish him by way to TKO (technical knockout). 

 

 Does a huge, dominant performance over Ellenberger put Lawler back in line for a title shot once Hendricks is healed up and ready to fight? If not that, we can only assume it's Lawler vs. the winner of Woodley/MacDonald.

 

 Your co-main event of the evening, Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson was a completely lop-sided fight, in favor of the former Heavyweight, Cormier. 

 

 Throughout round 1, 2 and 3, Cormier was literally picking Henderson up, and tossing him to the mat as he pleased. Out of just under a 14 minute fight, Cormier dominated on the mat for 11+ minutes. Nearing the end of the 3rd round, in a crazy scramble, Cormier was successfully able to sink in a rear naked choke, putting Henderson to sleep. 

 It was told that winner of Cormier/Henderson gets a title shot against winner of Jones/Gustafsson. We the fans of waited long enough, Cormier is finally getting his shot. 

 

 Your main-event of the evening, Renan Barao, the man Dana White (president of the UFC) thinks is the top P4P (pound for pound) fighter in the world was set to defend his bantamweight championship against TJ Dillashaw, ranked #4 in the division and a 8-1 underdog. 

 

 

 

  TJ Dillashaw put on one of the greatest performances the UFC octagon has witnessed to date, in tonight's main-event title fight against Renan Barao. Throughout the fight with, Dillashaw displayed incredible speed, striking accuracy and endurance. Early in round #1, he rocked Barao, putting him to the mat where he had him hurt, but couldn't quite finish him. After that, it was pure domination and deviation, in favor of the challenger, Dillashaw. After completely outclassing Barao for 4 rounds, most would think to just take it easy, take the fight to decision and take the easy win. TJ Dillashaw, as proven tonight, isn't about to let that happen. Closing in on the final minute of round #5, Dillashaw opened up with a flurry of strikes, after landing a huge head kick. Barao would fall to the mat, attempt to defend himself, but it wasn't enough...

 

 The ref (Herb Dean) stepped in, pulling Dillashaw away from the now former champion, solidifying the championship win for the "underdog".

 

 

 TJ Dillashaw is the first man out of Team Alpha Male to win a championship title. Post-fight, he shared the octagon with fellow training partners, Faber, Benavidez and striking coach "BANG" Ludwig, where tears would shed. 

 

 

 

 

Main card (PPV):

T.J. Dillashaw def. Renan Barao via fifth-round TKO

Daniel Cormier def. Dan Henderson via submission (rear-naked choke)

Robbie Lawler def. Jake Ellenberger via third-round TKO 

Takeya Mizugaki def. Francisco Rivera via unanimous decision 

James Krause def. Jamie Varner via first-round TKO (injury) 

 

Preliminaries:

Michael Chiesa def. Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision 

Tony Ferguson def. Katsunori Kikuno via first-round TKO

Chris Holdsworth def. Chico Camus via unanimous decision 

Mitch Clarke def. Al Iaquinta via submission 

Vinc Pichel def. Anthony Njokuani via unanimous decision

Sam Sicilia def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision

Li JingLiang def. David Michaud via split decision 

 

 

 

Fight of the Night: TJ Dollashaw vs. Renan Barao

 

Performance of the Night: TJ Dillashaw and Mitch Clark