Usually I post a picture here from the night's event taken from Yahoo Sports news or MSN, but neither of them were apparently impressed with the card enough to embed up-to-date action photos.
Overall, the card was a complete letdown. The welcome return of a former champion resulted in an undeserved victory, another fighter's opponent looked drugged and lazy, a title contender overlooked his opponent, and a champion showed that he desperately needs to fight up a weight class to give himself a little bit of a challenge.
I went 2-for-4 in my predictions tonight, leaving me 13-for-19 over the last few PPV events.
*I didn't predict the outcome of the Ovince St. Preux / Ryan Jimmo matchup, so no real comments can be made by me on how the only stoppage on the entire main card came from a verbal tap-out do to a freak accidental / potential arm break.
ANDRE ARLOVSKI vs. BRENDAN SCHAUB
PREDICTION: Schaub defeats Arlovski via KO in Round 1.
ACTUAL: Arlovski defeated Schaub via Split Decision.
I feel that, considering the complete lack of action for the first two rounds, two of the judges just randomly picked a name on their sheet and their blind finger happened to land of Arlovski's side. The third round was clearly Schaub's, and the first two could have gone either way. In any case, the fight was completely uneventful (other than the loaf of bread that appeared to be hiding inside Schaub's right cheek at the end of the third round), and I was happy to see Arlovski win - just not like this.
RYAN BADER vs. RAFAEL "FEIJAO" CAVALCANTE
PREDICTION: Cavalcante defeats Bader via TKO in Round 2.
ACTUAL: Bader defeated "Feijao" via Unanimous Decision.
Bader looked impressive; but in my eyes, the fact that he couldn't finish a fighter in "Feijao", a man whose conditioning has come into question in the past and clearly looked tonight like his corner accidentally drugged his water bottle, I feel a little less impressed with the winning performance. A one-sided boring fight.
TYRON WOODLEY vs. RORY MACDONALD
PREDICTION: MacDonald defeats Woodley via decision (29-28)
ACTUAL: MacDonald defeated Woodley via decision (30-27)
Again, another fight where a competitor complaining that he should have the next title shot gets dominated by the fighter he's currently overlooking. After the first 60 seconds, Woodley was completely out of his game as MacDonald dominated the living shit out of him. The one upside to Woodley was his ass was on the cage enough to cover up that god-awful sponsor, Dude Wipes.
MacDonald should get the next shot at the welterweight title.
DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON vs. ALI BAGAUTINOV
PREDICITON: Johnson defeats Bagautinov via Unanimous Decision (50-45)
ACTUAL: Johnson defeated Bagautinos via Unanimous Decision (50-45)
Seriously, did anyone else see another outcome? Johnson put on a dominant performance, but there was no surprise in the fight, and nothing to show that there is currently anyone else in the division to give him any kind of trouble. This fact makes for a very boring future, and a dilemma for the matchmakers and UFC PPV card-fillers. The crowd was audibly bored with the fight, as well.
UFC 174 Final Grade: C-
Overall, the card was a complete letdown. The auditorium was not very packed as the Canadians were clearly more aware than I that the card was going to be uneventful. Two pretty obvious decisions and two unexpected and boring decisions made for a lackluster event. And in the case of Demetrious Johnson, I feel the next thing for him to do is go back UP to Bantamweight and challenge for that title. There is nobody left for him at flyweight, and the division is pretty small.