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Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson retains flyweight title at UFC 174

live blog ufc 174 Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov at the UFC 174 weigh-in. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson cruised to a five-round unanimous nod against Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174 in Vancouver.

The 27-year-old Johnson (20-2-1) used his incomparable speed to deflect the Dagestan native’s offensive attempts, and Bagautinov (13-3) was never able to get a hold of Johnson other than for a suplex in the third round. Johnson did substantial damage to Bagautinov with repeated knees in the Thai clinch.

“My knees were on fire,” said Johnson.  This was Johnson’s fourth title defense.

UFC 174 Main Card Results:

Demetrious Johnson def. Ali Bagautinov - Unanimous Decision (50-45 all)

Rory MacDonald def. Tyron Woodley - Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)

Ryan Bader def. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante - Unanimous Decision  (30-27 all)

Andrei Arlovski def. Brendan Schaub - Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Ovince Saint Preux def.  Ryan Jimmo - TKO (Verbal Tapout - Arm Injury) 2:10 R2 

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Flyweight Championship: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov

Johnson (19-2-1) is the speed-demon king of the 125-pound decision and his last loss was in October 2011 to Dominick Cruz in the 135-pound division. Since then, it’s been fairly smooth sailing for the versatile “Mighty Mouse,” except for the Dodson fight. Dodson was able to keep up with Johnson’s pace, which is rare.

With 11 victories in a row (the last three being in the UFC) Bagautinov deserves a shot at Mighty Mouse. The 29-year-old Dagestan native’s record is 13-2. None of his three UFC opponents have been in title contention.

R1 – Johnson with inside leg kick. Nothing for one minute, until he throws another kick. Bag counters and though he doesn’t connect, he looks to have some power. A lot of pawing back and forth as we near 2:00. Bag pushes Johnson to fence. Johnson gets the Thai clinch for a moment, as Bag hangs on him, landing occasional light knees. 1:00 and we’re still on the fence. They scramble on the fence and Johnson lands a succession of great body knees. Bag gets a TD at the bell. Johnson 10-9

 R2 - Johnson has center, following Bag around the edge. Johnson scores with single punches and kicks until Bag counters with a flurry. Johnson gets out of the way, but again, there is power there to be weary of. Bag pushes Johnson to fence and they stall there. Johnson’s throwing off small elbows. Bag drops levels two times to get the TD, but Johnson follows him down and keeps his feet under him. We end the round here. Johnson 10-9/20-18

R3 – Johnson chases Bag down along the fence. When they clinch it’s more of the same. Johnson is a scorer in the clinch, especially when he gets his Thai plumb on. Back to center at 3:00. When Bag throws, Johnson is well out of the way. He’s weaving and bobbing at warp speed. Bag is throwing aggressively – he knows he needs this round. He does catch Johnson and suplexes him, but that’s his shining moment. Johnson is all over him to the bell. Johnson 10-9/30-27

R4 – Johnson shoots and navigates to standing elbows all in a fluid movement. Bag can’t keep up with this speed and efficiency. Johnson pecks away and at 2:45, starts landing hard body and leg kicks. Johnson with a flying knee that pushes Bag onto the cage. Bag reverses to outside with 1:00 to go. He’s fighting for a TD, but Johnson never loses his control. He’s able to set up his own throw TD from Bag’s attempt. Just beautiful movement. Johnson 10-9/40-36

R5 – Our action starts about a minute in, when Bag tries to take Johnson down. The problem is every time he gets close, Johnson gets his Thai clinch on and knees away. Johnson drops levels for a TD but abandons it and goes back to his plumb. It’s obvious Bag has no experience with it. We’re still in this position until the last minute, when they separate and Johnson nearly throws a reverse wheel kick against the cage. Final seconds are more clinch and knees. Johnson 10-9/50-45

Demetrious Johnson def. Ali Bagautinov - Unanimous Decision (50-45 all)

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Welterweight: Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley

Woodley (13-2) has picked up some steam in the 170 division with two brutal knockouts (Jay Hieron, Josh Koscheck) and his second-round stoppage of Carlos Condit at UFC 171 in March. A wrestler with punching power is a proven recipe in MMA. The UFC matched the 32-year-old Woodley up with MacDonald to see what he’s got tonight.

The 24-year-old MacDonald bounced back from a humbling loss to Robbie Lawler in late 2013 with a decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 170 in February. Pitched as the protégé of Goerges St-Pierre, a lot of expectations were placed on MacDonald’s shoulders and he was thrown some heavy opponents early. He’s been a little unsteady lately, but he has the skills to begin another climb.

R1 - The crowd is screaming, “Let’s go, Rory.” Woodley ties MacDonald up center cage and moves him to the fence. Woodley using knees to body and foot stomps. They break away at 3:25 and really start to exchange. MacDonald has the long kicks forward. Woodley maneuvers well around them. Woodley again pushes Mac to the fence. They break up with 1:40 to go. MacDonald lands a good kick and Woodley goes into TD mode. Mac sprawls. 1:00 to go. MacDonald with two body shots; he has Woodley backed against the cage. MacDonald warms up in those last few seconds and probably steals the round with some kicks and a combo. MacDonald 10-9

R2 - MacDonald takes center, but Woodley refuses to stay on the outside. MacDonald forces him there, though. MacDonald with a punch-kick combo. MacDonald high kick. Woodley trying to take MacDonald down, but Mac is in the zone. He counters everything, then throws off a great front kick. Woodley’s trapped on fence now. 2:00 to go. You can tell Woodley doesn’t know what to do. MacDonalds throwing 1-2’s, taking his time. Left-right from MacDonald. Body shot. Body shot. Bell. MacDonald 10-9

 R3 – Woodley tries a different tactic. He comes out swinging and lands one good punch before MacDonald reverts him back against the cage. MacDonald goes back to his batting practice. Woodley gets in the occasional answer, but Mac is having all the fun. MacDonald shoots and takes Woodley, the college wrestler, down. 3:00 to go. Mac in Woodley’s guard. Woodley has Mac’s wrists tied up. 1:30 to go. Rory stands and tries to pass his guard. Mac stands again and pushes into half to mount (for a split second) to side control. MacDonald finishing up the round with punches from side control to the bell. MacDonald 10-9/30-27

Rory MacDonald def. Tyron Woodley - Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)

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Light Heavyweight: Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Ryan Bader  

Former Strikeforce champion Cavalcante (12-4) has gone 1-1 in the UFC since his June 2013 debut -- his last performance a TKO (knee) win over Igor Pokrajac seven months ago. The fiery Cavalcante is aggressively proficient in all areas including some hot striking and Bader, a wrestler by nature, could be a good barometer for gaging where the 34-year-old Brazilian falls in the rankings.

After a career-advancing win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 144 in early 2012, Bader’s had an up-and-down go at it. He lost to Machida, submitted Matyushenko, lost to Teixiera and beat Perosh six months ago. Bader’s career is still stuck between gears and his striking hasn’t caught up to his wrestling.

R1 - Bader shoots at 4:20 and Feijao goes down. He gets to his feet, but is dragged down again. Feijao struggles up the fence. Another drag-down from Bader. Bader trips out Feijao’s legs on the next go. Feijao isn’t free until 2:30. Back to center, Bader swings and Feijao counters. Nothing lands, but we can see, already, who the better striker will be. Feijao goes on the hunt, but misses his chance when Bader blasts into him with a smooth double-leg. Feijao spends the remaining minute, proned against the cage, Bader pounding into his side. Bader knees Feijao hard right at the bell. Bader 10-9

R2 – Feijao reminds Bader he’s a striker with a spinning back kick. Bader shoots, but can’t get the takedown. They stall on fence. Back to center, Cavalcante is back in his comfort zone, but Bader again, takes him down and Feijao spends a lot of time proned and then tripoded, as Bader chips away with wound-up knees. Feijao gets out with 2:00 to go, but he doesn’t go for it. He looks uninspired. He’s not really trying and Bader easily takes him down again to end the round. Bader 10-9

R3 – Feijao comes out on fire, landing a big right a few seconds in. Bader immediately goes for the takedown. They eventually scrambled onto the fence, and Feijao pushes Bader off. Bader ties Feijao up again. 3:00 to go. Re-start at center. Bader shoots again and Feijao goes down with 2:10 to go. Bader in side control, throwing punches to Feijao’s ribcage. They’re hard, too. Feijao’s not doing anything to better his position. Feijao regains guard, at least, but eats lots of leather to the bell. Bader 10-9

Ryan Bader def. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante - Unanimous Decision  (30-27 all)

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Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub

Arlovski (21-10) made his Octagon debut at UFC 28 in 2000 and had captured the heavyweight title by 2005. The Belarusian Sambo champion became a proficient, disciplined boxer along the way, and when contract renegotiations ended with the UFC, ventured out to other promotions in 2008. He fought the legendary Fedor Emelianenko for Affliction, losing by first-round knockout. Three straight losses followed (three knockouts in four fights), but Arlovski has kept his head above water in a handful of promotions. It was a sentimental gesture the UFC made to bring Arlovski back. The 35-year-old has a very young division in front of him.

The 31-year-old Schaub (10-3), coming off back-to-back wins, can give Arlovski problems. Arlovski still moves well, but TUF 10 finalist Schaub is probably going to be a little faster with reactionary time. Both have knocked out and been knocked out. Speed is really important in this one. On top of that, Schaub has progressed as a grappler under the Gracie family in Los Angeles and is feeling confident on the canvas.

R1 – Touch of gloves and both take center canvas. Arlovski moves in fast and it’s a clinch on the cage. Arlovski with a couple of knees, but Schaub isn’t in trouble yet. Referee McCarthy asks for “work.” They separate themselves and Schaub tags Arlovski with a good combo. Back to a cage clinch with 2:40 to go; Arlovski on the outside. Slow going so far in this one. Schaub pushes him off with 2:10 to go. Schaub lands another uppercut-led combo. He lands another overhand. Arlovski is slow to get out of the way. Another clinch attempt that Schaub brushes off. 1:00 to go. Schaub throws an overhand again, Arlovski ducks, ties him up and pushes him to fence. Again, they separate. Arlovski misses with a slow spinning back-kick. Bell. Schaub 10-9

R2 - Arlovski lands a low blow, but Schaub only takes a few seconds to recover. Arlovski was pensive in first round; really needs to pick things up to stay in the game. Arlovski with a right body shot and he pushes Schaub to the fence, where they’ve already spent a lot of time. Schaub is out and he throws the overhand right. Schaub in with a left overhand. 2:45 to go. Schaub swings and misses. Arlovski seems to be a little more into the rhythm now. Clinch and Schaub nails Arlovski to the fence. They wrestle for control. Schaub lands a double, but Arlovski bounces right back to his feet. 1:30 to go. They’ve slowed down their striking; both are picking their shots. Schaub’s looking for a big KO. Schuab switches to an uppercut that Arlovski eats. Arlovski with an overhand right attempt at bell. Schaub 10-9 (but it's close).

R3 – Arlovski lands out of an exchange. Schaub is bleeding on bridge of his nose; he throws Arlovski down. Schaub trying to head punch into Arlovski’s guard. 2:45 to go. Arlovski tying him up well, but Schaub keeps coming. Still, he has no power from his position. Schaub lands a hammer fist and Arlovski springs to his feet. They’re tied up on the cage, Arlovski on outside. Back to center for final 30 seconds and Schaub eggs Arlovski on. Bell. Schaub’s right cheek is swelled something awful – could be broken. Schuab 10-9/30-27

Andrei Arlovski def. Brendan Schaub - Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

A bit of a controversial decision. It's dicey Arlovski would get R2, but to also snag R3 is too much.

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Light Heavyweight: Ryan Jimmo vs. Ovince Saint Preux

Edmonton-born Jimmo (19-3) has been on the circuit awhile. The 32-year-old striker became a regional star in Canada’s Maximum Fighting Championships. This will be Jimmo’s sixth Octagon appearance (3-2).

Though still a bit wet behind the years, former high school wrestling and track star St. Preux (15-5) pulled out a slick, first-round shoulder lock submission over Nikita Krylov at UFC 171, suggesting his learning curve is one to keep an eye on. The 30-year-old former college defensive end has a lot of raw talent to play with, but has shown weakened stamina in the later rounds.

R1 – Jimmo with inside low kick. OSP with body kick, as they feel each other out. OSP starting to land: wide hook. OSP lands again. Jimmo pushes OSP to fence for clinch. Jimmo goes for a leg; OSP keeps a hook in and keeps him at bay. OSP reverses Jimmo on fence. They fight for control there, breaking at 2:30. OSP blocks Jimmo’s low and high kicks attempts. OSP with an overhand left that lands. Jimmo connects with a body kick, but he’s got none of the power OSP has shown so far. :30 to go. OSP shoots and  takes Jimmo down on fence with 15 seconds left. Jimmo is up at the bell. OSP 10-9

R2 –Jimmo opens strong with a combo. Jimmo with a counter right. OSP takes Jimmo down, goes side control to mount easy. Jimmo gives up his back. 3:30 to go and OSP trying to slip in the rear-naked. Jimmo prones, OSP takes side control and begins to crank an arm. Jimmo begins to say “My arm’s broken. My arm’s broken,” until the referee jumps in to stop it.

Ovince Saint Preux def.  Ryan Jimmo - TKO (Verbal Tapout - Arm Injury) 2:10 R2   

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Prelim Results

  • Kiichi Kunimoto def. Sarafian - Submission (Rear-naked choke) 2:52 R1
  • Valerie Latourneau def. Elizabeth Phillips – Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Yves Jabouin def. Mike Easton – Unanimous Decision (29-28)
  • Tae Hyun Bang def. Kajan Johnson - KO (punch) 2:01 R3
  • Michinori Tanaka def. Roland Delorme - Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)
  • Jason Saggo def. Josh Shockley – TKO (punches) 4:57 R1
 

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