The great thing about the UFC is the pinnacle of the sport is still championship gold. Even those who love boxing as I do have to admit that the focus is not as much on championships as it should be.
The UFC 174 card—like all of the promotion’s events—worked to set the championship scene for several weight classes in order.
The winners and losers of the five fights on the main card have undoubtedly moved up in the rankings in their respective weight classes, or in one case, solidified their spot atop the hill.
OSP Is a Dangerous Man
Ovince Saint Preux’s wrestling was the difference on Saturday night against Ryan Jimmo. The two men fought to a bit of a stalemate in the stand-up, but once OSP took Jimmo to the ground, he broke him...literally.
A chicken wing and awkward position caused an injury to Jimmo’s arm and forced him to verbally submit in the second round.
You could hear him say "My arm is broken" while lying under an aggressive OSP.
Though he's not close to challenging Jon Jones for the title, OSP should not be dismissed. He is a future contender.
Brendan Schaub Was Robbed
Per Rob Tatum of MMA Corner, Dana White thinks the fans were the ones who got the shaft in this bout:
The only thing worse than a boring fight is an unjust decision to a boring fight. That’s what we had on Saturday in Brendan Schaub vs. Andrei Arlovski.
The fight didn’t have a lot of action, but Schaub owned the parts of the bout that mattered. Still, Arlovski "earned" a split-decision victory over Schaub. Go figure.
Neither man looked good in this bout, so in actuality, there were no real winners. Arlovski has the big name, but he would get thrashed by the top heavyweights in the UFC if Saturday night's performance is all he has to offer.
Ryan “Darth” Bader Put on a Clinic
Despite the fact that Rafael Cavalcante trains with Team Nogueira, his grappling looked rudimentary compared to Ryan Bader’s.
Darth dominated the fight from beginning to end with a physically imposing performance. He continues to beat guys who have no right calling themselves contenders. But when given an opportunity, he seems to lose to the best at 205 pounds.
It looks like he might get another opportunity to prove otherwise.
Rory MacDonald Makes a Statement
Coming into the night, Tyron Woodley was as scary a welterweight as there is in the UFC. MacDonald made him look like an inexperienced up-and-comer.
With timing and length, the Canadian picked Woodley apart. In the third and final round, he came close to convincing referee John McCarthy to stop the fight. Ultimately, MacDonald settled for a dominant unanimous-decision victory.
At the post-fight press conference, the winner made it clear that he wants a shot at the gold:
It’ll be hard for other contenders like Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown to make a better case than "Ares" for challenging Johny Hendricks for the 170-pound crown.
"Mighty Mouse" Makes His Case for Pound-for-Pound Crown
Forget the flyweight title. It's time to consider whether Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson is the best mixed martial artist in the world.
On Saturday night he dominated Ali Bagautinov with a mixture of speed, defense and unpredictability.
All things considered, the champ couldn't have performed any better.
At this point, the only challenger who makes any sense is John Dodson.
The two met before, and Johnson won a close unanimous decision. Dodson is perhaps the only other fighter capable of keeping up with Johnson's speed.
If Johnson were to win that bout, it could be a long while before we see him lose.
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