Demetrious Johnson continues to show why he’s one of the top pound-for-pound performers in the sport, as the flyweight champion notched his fourth successful title defense at UFC 174. Johnson dominated Ali Bagautinov over five one-sided rounds. It was a near-flawless performance from the promotion’s first and only 125-pound champion. He showcased his tremendous speed, athleticism and skills in earning the 50-45 nod on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
Johnson pushed a relentless pace throughout the fight and was able to dominate the Combat Sambo specialist in the clinch game by landing highly effective knees to the body and head. Bagautinov wasn’t able to get much done offensively against the elusive Johnson, and when he did secure a rare takedown, saw the champion immediately get to his feet.
“Mighty Mouse” showcased a diversified offensive arsenal, mixing in punches, knees and kicks against the rugged Russian, who was left bloodied but managed to make it to the final horn. He took some serious damage from the champion and showcased his toughness in the losing cause. “Puncher King” had a very tough time landing anything of consequence against his slick opponent. The outgunned Bagautinov tasted defeat for the first time in his Octagon career after three straight wins and saw his 11-fight win streak come to an end.
Johnson continues to dominate all challenges put in front of him, and has recorded other successful defenses against John Dodson, John Moraga and Joseph Benavidez. There’s a very good chance that a Dodson rematch could be on deck for the champion. Dodson recently made a strong case for another shot at Johnson by stopping Moraga at UFC Fight Night 42 in New Mexico. They previously met at UFC on FOX 6, with Johnson earning a unanimous decision victory in an entertaining scrap.
Johnson has now reeled off six-straight victories and improved to 20-2-1 with the victory. “Mighty Mouse” showed with his effort in Vancouver that it’s going to take a monumental effort for any of the current flyweight contenders to end his dominant ways.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.