Demetrious Johnson is still a cut above the rest at 125 pounds.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lord of the flyweights put on another one-sided performance at UFC 174, this time styling on Ali Bagautinov in a five-round blowout. Johnson spent much of the 25-minute bout punishing the Dagestani sambo specialist with knees from the Thai clinch. The champ’s fast footwork and snappy punches also played a large part, as Johnson poured on a total of 133 significant strikes to Bagautinov’s paltry 36.
As with all dominant champions, the trouble now lies in finding suitable challengers for Johnson’s gold. While “Mighty Mouse” told reporters after the fight that he is eager to face new opponents -- namely, Brad Pickett and Zach Makovsky -- UFC President Dana White said a rematch against John Dodson “makes the most sense” at the moment.
There was no title on the line in Rory MacDonald’s bout, but the 24-year-old Canadian came away from UFC 174 with his stock considerably raised. MacDonald followed his exciting February win over Demian Maia with a one-sided trouncing of fellow contender Tyron Woodley on June 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The unanimous decision may not be enough to secure MacDonald a title shot, but it will go a long way toward erasing the criticism leveled against him after lackluster showings against Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger.
Elsewhere in the rankings, Ovince St. Preux replaces the newly retired Chael Sonnen in the list of 205-pound contenders following an arm-snapping submission win over Ryan Jimmo, while Andrei Arlovski joins the ever-thin ranks of heavyweight contenders thanks to his controversial decision win over Brendan Schaub.
Continue Reading » Heavyweight