Andrei Arlovski (21-10, 1 NC) vs. Brendan Schaub (10-3)
The comeback fight by Andrei Arlovski was nothing spectacular. Arlovski and Schaub danced around the ring for 3 rounds, a full 15 minutes, without a lot of action. Going into the 2nd round, there was about 10 significant strikes landed in about 10 minutes. In my view, the fight was an embarrassment for both Andrei Arlovski and Brendan Schaub. From the side of AA, he was hesitant, slow, soft and had bad timing. From the side of Brendan, we saw a lot of haymakers and empty looping right hand punches that missed. It was not only not impressive, it was very boring. Really, the only exciting part of the fight was the decision, which was given to Arlovski by a split-decision. Though, after watching the fight 2 times, I believe Arlovski lost and Schaub was cheated out of the win.
Results: Andrei Arlovski def. Brendan Schaub by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Ryan Bader (16-4) vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (12-4, 1 NC)
Ryan Bader brought his A-game to UFC 174, no question about that. He took down and schooled Feijao for the first 2 hours, controlling him and the ring, mainly with his wrestling. In the 3rd round, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante came out strong and swung for the fences, clipping Bader a few times - causing him to buckle a little. Though, Ryan showed good heart and great strategy by recovering and working his wrestling to the end of the 3rd round. Overall, the first 2 rounds, it was basically Bader beating up Feijao with his wrestling, with the 3rd round it was them hugging because Bader didn't want to stand up and bang with Cavalcante. Heck who would with a guy who's last fights were mostly by KO, right? The decision wasn't a surprise, Bader outworked Feijao in all angles and won a clean decision.
Results: Ryan Bader def. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rory MacDonald (16-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (13-2)
Alright, this was one of those fights that I didn't see coming. In my view, in all aspects of the fight Woodley was the better man, he's stronger, faster and better in wrestling. However, Rory MacDonald took Tyron Woodley to school, literally speaking. He backed Tyron against the cage and hit him with almost non-stop boxing, with a bit of kicks mixed it. Woodley had no answer for the speed, agility and quickness of Rorys' hands. This fight was literally a training camp on how to control the octagon, cut off the middle, back your opponent against the cage and punch him like a punching bag. In fact, Rory MacDonald was even able to take Woodley down and keep him down with GnP for sometime, which is something Tyron didn't expect. Tyron Woodley had stuffed 32 out of the last 34 take-downs in his previous UFC fights. So, Rory really did an amazing job. Going forward, Rory MacDonald should be the next guy in line for the welterweight title after his spectacular top 10 performance at UFC 174. Though, I have to say the results were a bit surprising, I had MacDonald winning 10-8 in at least 1 round, which would make the score 30-26.
Results: Rory MacDonald def. Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1) vs. Ali Bagautinov (13-2)
The long awaited fight between Johnson and Bagautinov ended in a long awaited disappointment. For 5 rounds, (literally!) Demetrious Johnson showed Ali Bagautinov why he's the top P4P MMA fighter in the world. While Ali tried to throw some punches, he could never catch Johnson. Worst yet, the only 2 takedowns Ali scored in the fight were for mere seconds, with Johnson getting up within seconds. The whole fight was dominated by Johnson, with non stop Muay Thai clinch knees that literally tore up Bagautinov - his whole torso was as red as a tomato. I would compare the fight to a complete embarrassment for Bagautinov; he was not prepared for Johnson, he had no answer for any of Johnsons' techniques and he was outmatched on the feet and on the ground. The fight was a complete disaster for Ali but a big win for Johnson, who is now, in my view, the top 3 P4P MMA fighter in the world. Though, again the scoring is wrong, most of the rounds were 10-8 not 10-9. At least, 4 rounds were a clean 10-8 for Demetrious Johnson.
Results: Demetrious Johnson def. Ali Bagautinov by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)