By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on June 15, 2014
Demetrious Johnson once again proved why he’s one of the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters as he outclassed game challenger Ali Bagautinov in the main event of UFC 174. The unanimous decision victory marked his fourth successful flyweight title defense. Rory MacDonald and Ryan Bader also produced strong performances on a card in Vancouver that, for the most part, lacked sizzle. Here are the top five fights to make in the wake of UFC 174.
Andrei Arlovski received a questionable decision win over Brendan Schaub in a heavyweight snoozer. It definitely wasn’t the type of effort that “The Pit Bull” was shooting for in his first Octagon appearance in six years. While the victory did nothing to raise his stock, the veteran should get one more chance. Arlovski facing the winner of the UFC 175 clash between the towering Stefan Struve and Matt Mitrione would be a good test.
Tyron Woodley saw his momentum derailed in a lopsided decision loss to MacDonald. A solid bounce-back opportunity would be to have “The Chosen One” square off against the No. 7 ranked Jake Ellenberger. “The Juggernaut” is also in need of a strong rebound after being stopped by Robbie Lawler at UFC 173. Both men have formidable punching power, and it would represent a make-or-break fight.
Ryan Bader turned in a dominant effort against Rafael Cavalcante to earn a unanimous decision win, while Ovince St. Preux stayed perfect in his UFC career by stopping Ryan Jimmo. A Bader-OSP matchup seems an attractive fight to make in the 205 pound division. Both fighters are riding win streaks and sitting in top-10 territory. It would shape up as an entertaining matchup between two men currently at the top of their games.
Rory MacDonald turned in a solid effort against the dangerous Woodley and is on the cusp of a future welterweight title shot. A fight for “Ares” against the winner of the August clash in China between the hard-punching Hector Lombard and the surging Dong Hyun Kim would seem to be a perfect chance for him to finally nail down a title opportunity. MacDonald would represent a stern test for either of those top-10 fighters.
Demetrious Johnson’s dominant 125 pound title reign continued against Bagautinov as “Mighty Mouse” cruised to a unanimous decision win. The champion is seemingly in a class by himself, but John Dodson is the one flyweight contender who may have a chance against him. Dodson had a previous title clash against Johnson, losing a unanimous decision in a Fight of the Night at UFC on FOX 6. A rematch would have the makings of producing another thriller.
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