This is a "quick results" post-fight report from last night's Johnson vs. Bagautino UFC 174 card that took place in Vancouver, Canada and aired on FX and pay per view.
Preliminary Fights, on FX, from the Rogers Centre in Vancouver, Canada
Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan are on the call tonight. We get some pretty ridiculous hyperbole launched into right off the bat via the voice-over guy on FX, who says Yves Jabouin has flirted with greatness in the past. Goldberg and Rogan talk about the night's event and feed it to the first prelim fight.
Preliminary Fight #1 - Tae Hyun Bang def. Kajan Johnson (KO, Lightweight Bout)
Johnson survived the first round and I'm not quite sure how. Bang landed a huge left that knocked him out momentarily, but he came to and popped back up. I think Bang made the mistake of going for a front choke that allowed Johnson time to recover. Johnson finished round one strong. In the second, the fight stayed pretty close, but Johnson was able to do more damage than Bang did.
Striking match in the third, and Johnson takes it hard. Johnson threw a high kick but got knocked down and out by a big right hand from Bang. Bang mounted and the official stopped it quickly. Johnson kept leaving himself open to that right hand all night, and he paid for it. It was an entertaining fight, with Bang getting some good reversals and of course the solid right hand to finish.
Preliminary Fight #2 - Yves Jabouin def. Mike Easton (Unanimous Decision, Bantamweight Bout)
They opened trading strikes, and Easton had the better striking in the round. Jabouin got him down on his back a few times and for several minutes, but just didn't capitalize on it in the round. First round went to Easton. Second round the complexion changes. Jabouin changed the pace of the fight, quickening it, and Easton could not keep up with it. Utilizing takedowns and strikes, Jabouin easily took the second as Easton couldn't keep up.
No one really controlled the third round though. Easton mounted a comeback and seemed to have regained a little energy after being gassed in the second. Each man had their moments, but neither dominated the third. Easton would have won if he had won the round, but he didn't. Jabouin had a lot of offense throughout the fight, and racked up one heck of a strike total. That second round really cost Easton in this one.
Preliminary Fight #3 - Valerie Letorneau def. Elizabeth Phillips (Split Decision, Women's Bantamweight)
Phillips did a nice job of creating damage in round one, and Letorneau's eye ended up a mess at one point with all the striking action going on. Phillips barely won the round though, even though Letorneau might have done enough to take the round. Letorneau took control in the second though. Her striking was on target, whereas Phillips seemed to just be wildly throwing shots that left her open for Letorneau's strikes to land.
It was more of the same in round three, with Letorneau just landing combinations while Phillips tried to pop shots in. I have to give Letorneau a ton of credit for fighting through that mess of an eye injury. She might have broken the orbital bone there. I thought it was generous to give Phillips two rounds, and really not the right call, but the overall fight did go to Letorneau and that was the right call. This was a sloppy fight, especially for Phillips.
Preliminary Fight #4 - Kichi Kunimoto def. Daniel Sarafaian (Submission, Welterweight Bout)
Kunimoto worked kicks and tried to get a takedown that Sarafian held off. Sarafian tried to hook in a guillotine twice, and tried to escape after Kunimoto popped out. That let him give his back up, and Kunimoto took advantage and locked on a rear naked choke to force the submission. This was probably the most unexpected result of the night. Kunimoto looked terrible in his debut and won that by disqualification due to elbows to the back of the head. Sarafian was also expected to be the man with the advantage in the ground game too.
They re-air Jason Saggo defeating Josh Shockley from UFC Fight Pass before going to the main card on pay per view.
UFC 174 Main Pay Per View Card
Goldberg and Rogan break down the main event and discuss the other fights on the card.
Fight #1 - Ovince St. Preux def. Ryan Jimmo (TKO, Injury Stoppage, Light Heavyweight Bout)
Jimmo was the more active man in the opening round, landing kicks and being the early aggressor. The round was close though, and could have gone either way in scoring. Spt Preux got a late takedown but it didn't matter a lot. In the second though, the injury bug hits. St. Preux went for a choke that Jimmo defended, and when he rolled to his knees he yelled. Jimmo complained that his arm was broken. St.Preux went for a kimura on his other arm, but the official stopped the fight.
St. Preux was passing the test prior to the injury though. It's a shame that Jimmo's last two fights have been losses as a result of injury. Bad luck there, for sure.
Fight #2 - Andrei Arlovski def. Brendan Schaub (Split Decision, Heavyweight Bout)
Arlovski is back after a six-year hiatus. This was a bit of a strange fight, but it was nice to see Arlovski fight again. In the first round there was a lot of tentative action with clinching and some striking. Schaub landed a few solid punches, and Arlovski pushed in several times via clinches, but neither man did much. Arlovski got a lot more active in the second round, landing more strikes than he did in the first. An early low blow halted the action momentarily. The live crowd didn't care for Arlovski's stalling at points either.
Schaub opened round three with missing some wild strikes, and Arlovski landed a hard left but couldn't follow up. At one point, Schaub was able to get top position after a takedown. His face at the end was swollen, and one could speculate that he had a broken jaw.
This wasn't a very good fight. Neither man really did all that much to truly win, so I can give the split decision a pass. Schaub needed to do more in the early going of this fight to take it, and he just didn't do it. Pretty uneventful bout.
Fight #3 - Ryan Bader def. Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (Unanimous Decision, Light Heavyweight)
Feijao worked a leg kick to start, but Bader worked strong grappling. He also did a good job of landing strikes in the early going, and won the first round. He continued to control the fight into the second round. You could see Feijao getting more tired as the fight wore on. The two were a bit tentative, and the live crowd was restless with them for that. More of the same in the third, with Feijao shooting in and landing a hard right early on. The fight ended with Bader getting top position, landing an elbow and body shots. The live crowd wasn't happy with the ground and pound.
This wasn't an exciting fight, but it was a smart fight from Bader especially. The third round got off to a shaky start for him, but the takedown he scored killed Feijao's spirit. Bader controlled from start to finish and grabbed the win.
Fight #4 - Rory MacDonald def. Tyron Woodley (Unanimous Decision, Welterweight Bout)
The live crowd was strongly behind Rory with huge "Let's Go Rory" chants. MacDonald landed some hard kicks, but Woodley shot in and took him down. MacDonald popped back up though to a nice pop from the live crowd and threw strikes and a nice combination to finish. MacDonald had a great round, and probably his best since the BJ Penn fight. In the second round MacDonald hits a superman punch and an axe kick that didn't land flush. He really picked Woodley apart throughout the round when he got him up against the cage. This is the MacDonald that has been missing in his last three fights. He fought smart.
Woodley came out swinging wildly in the third, but MacDonald fired right back. Toward the end, Woodley tried to throw some upkicks, but MacDonald landed a right. He passed over to get a mount, then moved to side control. He trapped Woodley's arm and closed it. Woodley isn't one to get taken down much, but he really took it hard from MacDonald last night. MacDonald worked a great fight, even though it wasn't the most thrilling of fights. He got his mojo back a bit, and he will move up in the division as a result of this fight. If he beats a top five guy, he should be in line for a title shot after Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown get their shots at Hendricks.
Fight #5 (Main Event) - Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson def. Ali Bagautinov (Unanimous Decision, Flyweight Championship Bout)
Johnson started off with some leg kicks and body kicks. Early action was tentative while Johnson looked to find an opening. Johnson was able to bob and weave as Bagautinov missed his strike attempts. Late, Bagautinov got a body lock and a late takedown, but Johnson popped back up. They started slow, but Mighty Mouse started to pick the pace up, working nicely in the clinch. He was off to a good start.
The second round was all about picking up the pace for Johnson. Bagautinov really wasn't having much success in the second round. He wasn't really finding a connection with some of the strikes he was throwing, and Johnson utilizing the knee strikes was really helping him to change the complexion of the fight. Johnson kept up the pressure in the third round as well. He kept working kicks and knees, keeping Bagautinov on his toes as he changed stances. Bagautinov scored a slam at one point, but Johnson popped up, hit a knee and threw a right. Johnson put on a clinic and he wasn't looking tired heading to the Championship rounds.
In round four, Johnson did slow down a bit, but he kept dominating. Bagautinov did land a right to the chest and a hard body kick, and some more body strikes, but he really wasn't finding ways to mount sustained offense. Johnson kept working the knee strikes and clinches to throw knees to the head. He almost got a choke right at the horn as well. In the final round, Johnson opened with some punches and a nice combination. He kept working knee shots and combinations. At one point, it looked like he awkwardly bent his leg on a takedown from Bagautinov, but he was okay.
This was Johnson's fight, start to finish - and one that causes fans to look to Johnson/Dodson II. It wasn't the greatest performance from Johnson, but he certainly put on a show against a 13-2 Bagautinov and controlled it from beginning to end. Not everyone would be entertained by this fight, but Johnson definitely brought it all to win this one.
The UFC has a busy June, with two more events to close out the month, and there's World Series of Fighting 10 on NBC Sports Network next week too. We'll post about those events and more as we can here on Ring-Rap.com.