After a show full of exciting results, including Demetrious Johnson successfully defending the UFC Flyweight Championship against Ali Bagautinov, the UFC 174 pay-per-view was worth the investment from MMA fans purchasing the event.
Not only did Johnson retain his title, but the card also saw Rory MacDonald, Ryan Bader and Andrei Arlovski walk away victorious from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Here are the complete results from Sunday’s show and a breakdown of Johnson vs. Bagautinov.
|Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Ali Bagautinov||Johnson via Decision||Flyweight Championship|
|Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley||MacDonald via Decision||Welterweight|
|Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante||Bader via Decision||Light Heavyweight|
|Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub||Arlovski via Decision||Heavyweight|
|Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ryan Jimmo||St. Preux via Submission||Light Heavyweight|
|Kajan Johnson vs. Tae Hyun Bang||Bang via KO||Lightweight|
|Yves Jabouin vs. Mike Easton||Jabouin via Decision||Bantamweight|
|Valerie Letourneau vs. Elizabeth Phillips||Letourneau via Decision||Women's Bantamweight|
|Daniel Sarafian vs. Kiichi Kunimoto||Kunimoto via Submission||Welterweight|
|UFC Fight Pass Preliminary|
|Roland Delorme vs. Michinori Tanaka||Tanaka via Decision||Bantamweight|
|Jason Saggo vs. Josh Shockley||Saggo via TKO||Lightweight|
Breaking Down the Main Event
There were many fans and experts who believed Bagautinov would push Johnson to his limit in the main event, but the defending UFC flyweight champion successfully retained the belt via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45).
Bagautinov looked strong at times in this fight—he took Johnson down twice during the five-round battle—but this was Johnson’s chance to shut down the doubters.
Johnson landed 164 strikes, with 133 of those being classified as significant. While it was clear Bagautinov was the better wrestler, he only landed 66 strikes, and just 36 of those were considered significant.
Bleacher Report’s MMA Twitter feed talked about how convincing this unanimous-decision victory was for Johnson:
Has to be a comfortable win for Johnson. Even a panel consisting of CJ Ross, Jeff Collins, and Cecil Peoples couldn't screw this one up.— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) June 15, 2014
Saturday’s victory was Johnson’s sixth in a row and fourth successful title defense, but it was the dominant fashion in which he earned the win that really turned the heads of those who believed Bagautinov was going to walk away with the title.
Rob Tatum of The MMA Corner talked about Johnson’s upward trajectory:
With Johnson only getting better, the entire flyweight division has been put on notice. Just as Anderson Silva ran roughshod over the middleweight division for so many years, the unique combination of power, speed and accuracy will help keep Johnson on top.
It was clear that Bagautinov pushed Johnson’s wrestling abilities past their limits, but the defending champion knew how to minimize damage and return the fight to the stand-up position, where he had the advantage.
Who should Demetrious Johnson fight next?
As to the questions about who is next for Johnson, the answer should be John Dodson.
Johnson successfully defended his title against Dodson in the Fight of the Night winner in January of 2013, and a rematch would be an ideal main event for a PPV. Dodson has serious power in his hands and would challenge Johnson for the belt.
While Dodson would land some heavy punches, the tenacity and pure counterattacking instincts of Johnson would result in yet another title defense for one of the pound-for-pound toughest men in the sport today.
*Stats via UFC.com.