Welcome to CagedInsider’s coverage of UFC 174, which will feature creative adjectives and well-thought out adverbs that will make you feel like you are there in Vancouver, British Columbia, eating cheese curds at cageside. In the main event, the smallest champion in the UFC – Demetrious Johnson – will take on Dagestani’s favorite son, while in the co-main Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley will either have the best fight ever or the worst fight ever.
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Prelim results (UFC Fight Pass):
-Jason Saggo def. Josh Shockley via TKO (Punches) 4:57, R1
-Michinori Tanaka def. Roland Delorme via Unanimous Decision
Prelim results (FX):
-Kajan Johnson vs. Tae Hyun Bang
Round 1: Johnson and Bang waste no time swinging hard at each other, with Johnson nailing the South Korean with right hands, a kick to the head and a takedown before two minutes have elapsed. But Bang is tough and full of kimchi, and he tags the Canadian with a left that sends Johnson to the canvas. They scramble a bit before returning to their face-punching contest, and with 35 seconds left in the round, Johnson scores another takedown – a move that probably secures him the round on the scorecards.
Round 2: Johnson comes out a little more tentative, wary off his foe’s powerful left, and Bang dances around, seemingly trying to draw him out for a counterpunch. After a minute the South Korean wobbles him with a right, and Johnson succeeds in getting Bang down. Once more they scramble, and eventually are back up, doing exhausted Leonard Garcia impressions.
Round 3: With blood trickling down his nose and fatigue weighing heavily on his limbs, Bang dances around an equally tired Johnson, neither man displaying any of the pep they showed earlier in the fight. But whether he’s just playing possum or recharging his batteries, Bang still has something left in the tank, and he uses it to walk through a Johnson kick and utterly plaster him with an overhand right. And that’s all she wrote.
Result: Tae Hyun Bang def. Kajan Johnson via TKO (Punch) at 2:01, R3
-Yves Jabouin vs. Mike Easton
Round 1: Easton gets poked in the eye in the opening seconds, and after a brief respite, is fired up enough to tag Jabouin with a couple right hands. Jabouin responds by taking him down, and when Easton slowly cage-walks back up, the Canadian dumps him back down to the canvas. Time expires with them throwing strikes and trying to find openings.
Round 2: Jabouin begins to nail Easton with strikes – an uppercut here, a spinning kick there – and he keeps the American guessing by mixing in a dominant wrestling game. Just like in the first, this round ends with them swinging hard with their best weapons.
Round 3: This round is more of the same – Jabouin nailing him with strikes and taking him down – until Easton manages to snag a kimura and use it to reverse. But Easton is too tired to finish it, and when Jabouin puts him into his guard to ride out the clock, it’s a no-brainer who’s going to get the decision.
Result: Yves Jabouin def. Mike Easton via Unanimous Decision
-Valerie Letourneau vs. Elizabeth Phillips
Round 1: The ladies want a kickboxing match, and that’s exactly what they engage in, with Phillips undaunted by Letourneau’s slightly greater reach and blasting her hard and often. Letourneau catches one early in the left eye, and when it swells up, Phillips targets it repeatedly. In the waning seconds of the round Letourneau rocks her with a high-kick, and the horn sounds with them brawling.
Round 2: A hemotoma has turned the area around Letourneau’s eye purple, but still they bang. As Phillips starts to huff and puff, Letourneau begins to rattle off combinations, racking up points while Phillips lands maybe one out of three punches.
Round 3: Though her eye looks like something out of horror flick, Letourneau keeps kicking, punching and counter-punching with loads of technique. Phillips does her thing regardless, moving forward and swinging hard, and as the clock runs out they still trying hard to throw leather.
Result: Valerie Letourneau def. Elizabeth Phillips via Split Decision
-Daniel Sarafian def. Kiichi Kunimoto
Round 1: TUF Brazil veteran Sarafian starts out tentative, eating leg-kick after leg-kick while only firing back with a few punches. Then Kunimoto clinches him against the fence, methodically works to take him down, and the ensuing sequence on the ground has the Japanese fighter taking the Brazilian’s back and tapping him with a choke. Sarafian was barely in this fight at all.
Result: Kiichi Kunimoto def. Daniel Sarafian via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:52, R1
Main card results (pay-per-view)
-Ryan Jimmo vs. Ovince St. Preux
Round 1: Hopping around, light on his feet with his body wedged to the side, Jimmo is all karate all the time. OSP, meanwhile, is his usual kickboxer self, so the first round plays out with Jimmo landing single strikes and flitting about and OSP rushing him, taking him down against the cage, and bloodying him.
Round 2: Jimmo tags his foe a few times with his karate blitzes, so OSP takes him down after a minute and works onto his back. They scramble a bit, and then Jimmo cries out “My arm is broken! My arm is broken!” (it’s unclear how exactly it was injured). The referee steps in, giving OSP the win.
Results: Ovince St. Preux def. Ryan Jimmo via TKO (Verbal Submission due to Arm Break) at 2:10, R2
-Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub
Round 1: Arlovski and Schaub circle for about 30 seconds, and oddly enough, it’s the former heavyweight champ who initiates the clinch battle against the fence. When they break apart it’s Schaub who lands a couple hard punches. This same sequence happens twice more before the horn sounds.
Round 2: Schaub keeps throwing an overhand right without setting it up, and Arlovski replies by ducking and digging his fists into his body. Add to that equation a ton of tentativeness and a single uppercut by Schaub landing and you have the story of Round 2.
Round 3: A little over a minute in Schaub succeeds in getting the Belarussian down with a body-lock takedown, and for the next few minutes does his best with some mostly ineffectual ground-and-pound. Eventually Arlovski kicks him away, and the round ends with him swinging hard and Schaub ducking down for takedown attempts.
Result: Andrei Arlovski def. Brendan Schaub via Split Decision
-Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante
Round 1: Bader comes out showing no fear of his opponent’s striking, but he switches things up and starts wrestling the hell out of him after just 30 seconds. It takes Cavalcante some time to work back to his feet, and when he fails to hurt the TUF winner in the next few minutes, Bader bullrushes him again and takes him down. The round ends with the American battering a turtled Brazilian against the cage.
Round 2: Even though he knows it’s coming, Cavalcante can only hold off the takedown for a minute and a half – at which point Bader resumes his varied ground-and-pound assault. When Cavalcante manages to scramble back up, he does nothing with the opportunity, and with 30 seconds left Bader again takes him down.
Round 3: Cavalcante turns up the aggression and finally looks to be in the fight, forcing Bader to backpedal and dive for takedowns that are stuffed. But this renewed effort lasts all of three minutes before Bader succeeds in taking him down to pound on him. The clock runs out with Bader on top.
Result: Ryan Bader def. Rafael Cavalcante via Unanimous Decision
-Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley
Round 1: They tie up quickly and end up against the cage, with Woodley trying to wear MacDonald down by carrying his weight. They break apart and MacDonald starts working his kicks, targeting the head and body before Woodley again tries to squash him against the fence. MacDonald resists it, and resists the subsequent takedown, and the last minute of the round is spent with the Canadian chipping away at a seemingly befuddled Woodley.
Round 2: MacDonald continues to back Woodley up against the cage and pick his shots, but the Strikeforce vet fires back with some hard leg-kicks. It doesn’t last, though, and MacDonald’s measured onslaught soon has Woodley pressed up against the cage and playing the role of punching bag.
Round 3: Woodley tries to get aggressive, throwing punches and backing his foe up, but it doesn’t last, and two minutes in MacDonald takes the wrestler down. Eventually the Canadian works into mount and then side-mount, and from kesa-gatame position MacDonald just wails away until the final horn. Total domination.
Result: Rory MacDonald def. Tyron Woodley via Unanimous Decision
-Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov
Round 1: It takes a minute for either man to make contact with a strike, and two more minutes before they even clinch and grapple. From that range, Bagautinov sneaks in a few short punches and Johnson blasts him with some knees, and just before the horn sounds the Dagestani fighter hoists “Mighty Mouse” up and dumps him down.
Round 2: They strike a bit more in this round, with Johnson scoring with punches and kicks so fast Bagautinov doesn’t even have time to react. The challenger keeps winging punches of his own though, and mixing in takedown attempts against the cage.
Round 3: The champ’s relentless pace and frenetic movement begin to take their toll on Bagautinov, who can’t figure out what to do. He does manage to wrap his hands around Johnson and slam him to the canvas, but the advantage lasts only a second, and then it’s back to trying to catch a hummingbird with chopsticks.
Round 4: Bagautinov is continually frustrated by Johnson’s speed, and with exhaustion coming into play, it’s a losing battle the Dagestani is engaged in. He gets some grappling in in the waning seconds of the round, but even then Mighty Mouse is too fast for him.
Round 5: Thanks to some somewhat successful clinch-work, Bagautinov has his best round yet. But it’s just one round out of five in a bout that was otherwise all Johnson, and when time runs out, the scorecards clearly belong to the champ.
Result: Demetrious Johnson def. Ali Bagautinov via Unanimous Decision