The main event for Saturday’s UFC 174 pay-per-view features a marquee UFC flyweight championship bout between defending champion Demetrious Johnson and No. 1 contender Ali Bagautinov.
While the main event will be an exciting matchup, there is a deep card full of potentially show-stealing battles worthy of the PPV card.
Here is all the vital viewing information for Saturday’s show, the full match card with predictions and the matchup fans can’t afford to miss.
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, Canada
When: Saturday, June 14 at 10 p.m. EDT
Watch: Pay-per-view (local service provider)
Live Stream: UFC.com
|Main Card||10 p.m. ET|
|Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Ali Bagautinov||Flyweight Championship||Johnson via Decision|
|Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley||Welterweight||Woodley via TKO|
|Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante||Light Heavyweight||Bader via Decision|
|Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub||Heavyweight||Arlovski via TKO|
|Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ryan Jimmo||Light Heavyweight||Jimmo via Decision|
|FX Prelims||8 p.m. ET|
|Kajan Johnson vs. Tae Hyun Bang||Lightweight||Johnson via TKO|
|Yves Jabouin vs. Mike Easton||Bantamweight||Jabouin via Decision|
|Valerie Letourneau vs. Elizabeth Phillips||Women's Bantamweight||Letourneau via Decision|
|Daniel Sarafian vs. Kiichi Kunimoto||Welterweight||Sarafian via submission|
|UFC Fight Pass Preliminary||7 p.m. ET|
|Roland Delorme vs. Michinori Tanaka||Bantamweight||Delorme via Decision|
|Jason Saggo vs. Josh Shockley||Lightweight||Saggo via Decision|
Underrated Matchup: Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley
While most eyes will be focused on the title match between Johnson and Bagautinov, the potentially most exciting battle of the night will be the welterweight bout between Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley.
Both men have an immense amount of talent, and Mike Chiappetta of Fox Sports talks about the betting line coming into this matchup:
If line holds, UFC 174 will mark 1st time in Rory MacDonald's 10-fight UFC career he's an underdog. Opened as favorite, but $ is on Woodley.— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) June 10, 2014
For Woodley, the battle against MacDonald is his chance to prove to Dana White and the UFC officials that he deserves a shot at the division’s title.
Woodley’s win over Carlos Condit was a bit of a fluke due to an injury, but his previous victory against Josh Koscheck came via a devastating knockout. The fight against MacDonald will be Woodley’s chance to ensure the UFC takes notice of his talents.
When asked about earning a potential title shot with a victory on Saturday, Woodley told MMAjunkie Radio, via MMA Junkie's Mike Bohn, about his view of the situation:
I think the best performance is going to get a title shot. My goal is really to focus on beating Rory MacDonald in a dominant fashion—to go up to Vancouver and do my thing. Everything else, whether they give me a shot or not, I’m eventually going to win the world title. I’m going to be in the title picture. ... I just need to focus on this kid because if I go out there and I don’t win, then I’m not getting a world title anyway.
As well as Woodley has fought, he will be facing an incredibly tough test against MacDonald.
While a loss to Robbie Lawler two fights ago derailed his title hopes temporarily, MacDonald bounced back with a decision victory over Demian Maia in a bout that was awarded the Fight of the Night bonus at UFC 170.
Who ya got?
MacDonald is well versed in striking and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but Woodley will utilize his elite wrestling skills to limit the danger presented by the Canadian challenger. With Woodley possessing heavy strikes of his own, this has the chance to be the fight of the night.
If Woodley sticks to his game plan and brings the fight to the ground, he should be able to steal the victory and make a case to be the No. 1 contender in the welterweight division.
Predicted Winner: Woodley via TKO
*Stats via UFC.com.