UFC 174 - Who will win?
Thursday, June 12
UFC 174 Preview - By Adam CurleyDemetrious Johnson vs Ali Bagautinov #4 Johnson is slowly getting the respect he deserves from those looking inside the Octagon; which is still staggering given he is undefeated at flyweight in the UFC, and has defended his title in dominant fashion on three occasions. ‘Mighty Mouse’ finally gets his chance to headline a pay-per-view against Bagautinov, who is riding an 11-fight winning streak.The Russian has won all of his three fights in the UFC but he’s never faced an opponent as good or as slick as the champ, with DJ’s speed likely to cause him all sorts of trouble. Bagautinov has been training at Jackson’s MMA with John Dodson available to give him some inside knowledge of the title holder, but I don’t see that helping him in Vancouver.Prediction: Johnson by KO/TKO round two.Rory Macdonald #2 vs Tyron Woodley #3It seems we’re being treated to these a lot of late, but with the disappearance of GSP and the crowning of new champ Johny Hendricks, this is another fight with huge title implications at welterweight. Macdonald has been seen as the heir apparent to his mentor GSP for a couple of years now but has stumbled along the way at crucial times, while Tyron Woodley’s last two performances inside the Octagon, as well as his words outside of it, have seen him rocket into the picture.Carlos Condit and Josh Koscheck were dismantled by ‘The Chosen One’ and I think his power could be too much for the Canadian to handle, despite Macdonald having the crowd on his side.Prediction: Woodley by KO/TKO round three.Ryan Bader #9 vs Rafael Cavalcante #12 Bader hasn’t fought since he broke his hand pulverising Anthony Perosh in Brisbane last December, and the former TUF winner will have both hands full with the Brazilian here.It’s an important fight for the American who has struggled for consistency over the past two years, despite having outstanding wrestling and a huge right hand.‘Feijao’ is a scary prospect but hasn’t shown anything in his two-fight UFC stint to have Jon Jones or the division’s best contenders shaking with fear. The potential for an upset is there, but it’s up to the underdog to deliver on it.Prediction: Cavalcante by KO/TKO round one.Brendan Schaub #14 vs Andrei ArlovskiWho would have thought I’d be writing about the return of ‘Pit Bull’ in the UFC, certainly not me! Neither of these men is close to a run at the title so hopefully they use the stage to put on a show.Schaub did his best to get a date with Mark Hunt which fell flat (luckily for him) but instead got paired with the former heavyweight champ. Arlovski hasn’t fought for the UFC since 2008 so his comeback was a shock to all, but his name does add something to this card, and I’m looking forward to see what he brings.Prediction: Schaub by unanimous decision.Ovince St Preux #13 vs Ryan Jimmo OSP has been quietly impressive since signing with the UFC. He’s won three straight but it’s his last two wins that have made a bit more noise in the light heavyweight division. First, he knocked out Cody Donovon and followed that up by submitting Nikita Krylov, with a ‘Von Flue’ choke no less, both in the opening round.Jimmo hasn’t been able to get a streak going in his five fights in the UFC, and it seems he’s destined to stay outside the top 15 rankings, and be known as the guy who does ‘The Robot’, unless he can handle the step up against a quality opponent. In this case, I think he’ll fail the test again.Prediction: St Preux by unanimous decision.