UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson will defend his title against Ali Bagautinov in the main event of UFC 174 in Vancouver, Canada, on Saturday. But don't count on him receiving one of the Fight Night bonuses.
Johnson will win, and it'll be impressive, but as it pertains to additional paychecks, Mighty Mouse's unanimous decision win will be overshadowed by a pair of knockouts and an epic co-feature.
Fight of the Night: MacDonald vs. Woodley
So much is at stake for both Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley on Saturday night. Because both men might need a finish to out-perform Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown and earn a shot at Johny Hendricks' title, the mission will be to please the crowd and the decision-makers in the UFC.
Jesse Holland of MMA Mania expounds on the concept:
I think the title shot will come down to who has the more impressive performance, but again, the finish is key. Especially for Woodley, who may have a tougher hill to climb. Dumping and humping MacDonald may get him the "W," but riding off into the scorecards would be a tough sell if Lawler kicks Brown's head into the fourth row.
Because this dynamic exists, we're more likely to see MacDonald take more chances and abandon his robotic—but effective—style. The result will be a hard-fought battle with a potentially explosive ending.
Watch for a eye-opening performance from Woodley.
Performance of the Night 1: Ovince Saint Preux
OSP battles Ryan Jimmo in a light-heavyweight clash featuring two strong and destructive strikers.
We've seen glimpses of how dangerous Saint Preux can be. There's reason to believe that his performance on Saturday will be the best yet.
Over the last four years, his only loss came at the hands of Gegard Mousasi while the two were still in Strikeforce. In the UFC, OSP has shown his striking prowess by stopping Cody Donovan and T.J. Cook, and his submission skills by choking out Nikita Krylov.
He seems to get better with each outing.
Against Jimmo, the battle figures to stay standing, and OSP's explosiveness will overcome Jimmo in a major way.
Though he won't gain many local fans, as Jimmo hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, the world will see how dangerous OSP can be as a striker.
Performance of the Night 2: Brendan Schaub
In case you were unaware, Schaub has dropped the "Hybrid" moniker and picked up a new one.
He's referred to as "Big Brown" on his podcast The Fighter and the Kid with Bryan Callen. Schaub's huge fanbase pushed for him to adopt the nickname in the Octagon, and he officially sent word to Bruce Buffer to introduce him as such.
When he faces MMA legend Andrei Arlovski on Saturday, Big Brown is going to prove he deserves the right to be called whatever he wants.
Schaub's speed and ever-developing skill set will be too much for the UFC veteran upon his return to the promotion.
Expect Schaub to win the initial stand-up encounter, and to turn that into a purely dominating ground-and-pound exhibition.
Big Brown for the win and a performance bonus.
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