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.
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)
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