UFC 174: Fans Exit Early from Demetrious Johnson's Dominant Title Fight

Kristian Ibarra@@kristian_ibarraFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2014

Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Demetrious Johnson (red) fights against Ali Bagautinov (blue) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Demetrious Johnson was the faster fighter. He was the quicker fighter. He was the better fighter in his five-round shutout against Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174 on Saturday.

MMAFighting.com's Shaun Al-Shatti tweeted this from Johnson's post-fight interview with Joe Rogan:

Flyweight king or not, Johnson's dominant performance was apparently not enough to keep some of the 13,506 fans at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada from sticking around to watch the champ have his hand raised. 

Sherdog.com's Jordan Breen tweeted during the title fight:

Possibly stemming from the lack of fans in attendance or simply from the fact that the fight was so one-sided—though the fans who managed to stay seemingly weren't excited eitherMMAFighting.com tweeted:

"Mighty Mouse" wasn't too bothered by it, though. Johnson first told reporters at the UFC 174 post-fight press conference: "I didn't notice at all. I was too busy throwing knees in the clinch. It doesn't bother me at all, you know. People are free to leave and go as they please. They're not held here in contempt. I think all the educated fans loved it."

This isn't the first time Johnson's dominating performances have gone unappreciated by casual fans. He's often criticized for being dominant enough to completely dispatch his opponents but not dominant enough to finish his fights inside of the Octagon. 

It's not all his fault, though—he's doing his part to put on a solid performance. The stats advertised during the fight only reinforced what people were observing: a one-sided beating by the reigning, defending, undisputed, cursed flyweight champion of the world. By the end of the third round, he had reportedly landed more than 150 strikes. Bagautinov could only hover around 60.

MMAFighting.com's senior editor Luke Thomas summed up why Johnson's dominant performances often go unappreciated in a series of tweets:

Hopefully, a rematch with the endlessly charismatic John Dodson will serve as a defibrillator to Johnson's struggling popularity.

It's worth noting that this was the first time Johnson had his name announced last at a UFC pay-per-view. His seemingly underwhelming but absolutely dominant performance—coupled with the fans who opted to get drenched in the rain instead of watch Dana White wrap the belt around his waist—could force White and company to question whether they can afford to headline another fight card with Johnson.

Kristian Ibarra is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He also serves as the sports editor at San Diego State University's student-run newspaper, The Daily Aztec. Follow him on Twitter at @Kristian_Ibarra for all things MMA


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