The line-up for UFC 174 boasted all the potential of a typical UFC event that built up a variety of emotions leading up the night itself. (Sorry it’s a bit late!)
Ryan Jimmo vs Ovince Saint Preux
The opening Light-heavy bout of the night started off with a good few exchanges, displaying the range of skills invloved in MMA however OSP quickly began to dominated the fight with his Karate skills. A series of head punches soon gave OSP the 2nd round but just as the final seconds began to tick the match was stopped as Jimmo announced he had broken his arm in a takedown. OSP is the winner through verbal tapout by T.K.O
Andrei Arlovski vs Bredan Schaub
The return of the legend Andrei Arlovski overshadowed this match against Brendan Schaub who was determined to overthrow the old school fighter. Considering the heavyweight Arlovski hasn’t been inside the Octoagon sin 2008 as the rounds went on he slowly got back into his stride. Many could say that the energy of the fight was long and drawn out as a lot of people expect TKO’s in heavyweight battles. Even though there were various takedowns and hammer fist combos, this match lasted till the end and went to decisions who gave Arlovski the fight.
Rafael Feijao vs Ryan Bader
Feijao came out ready to take this fight to the ground with some good jabs and takedowns but once set in his stride, Ryan Bader came back and turned up the pressure. In his true unpredictable style, Bader continued to dominated the fight with clear takedown that resulted in some intense ribs jabs. Feijao tried to recover from the blows but in the end Bader’s attacks led him to win the match by decision.
Rory Macdonald vs Tyron Woodley
The Co-Main event certainly had a lot of pressure behind it as these two welterweight fighters had a lot to prove. From the get-go, there was obvious change to Woodley’s style who is normally very aggressive. Rory Macdonald managed to gain control of the Octagon early on and even though he faced some brutal blows, nothing was able to put him off target. Some beautiful takedowns and exchanges led to the judges giving Macdonald the fight.
Ali Bagautinov vs Demetrious Johnson
The Flyweight division is one of the best weight classes to watch in terms of skills, as fighters aren’t held down by masses of muscle, speed, tactics and athleticism are all on their side. The current champion Johnson has a unique style though he had his work cut out for him in this match against 11 fight winning streak Bagautinov. From the 1st round we saw the adrenaline rise as both fighters gave all they had in order to be the champ. By the 3rd round we saw Bagautinov start to slow down with his offence whereas Johnson maintained his fast footwork and sharp jabs. By the end of the 5th round it was clear to see the difference in stamina between the fighters as Johnson landed his blows on target, not enough strength for a knock-out yet getting the job done. Demetrious Johnson remains the UFC Flyweight champion.
Overall I feel that UFC 174 lacked some of the show-stopping, breath taking moments that usually shine through in main events but it was good to see technique play a bigger role in fights instead of always going for T.K.O’s.