The largest MMA promotion in the world will make its return to Vancouver on June 14 for UFC 174 and it now has a both a main and co-main event.
In the main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will put his belt on the line against Ali Bagautinov. The co-main event is between hometown boy Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley.
UFC officials announced on Tuesday and Wednesday the match-ups.
Johnson (19-2-1) is the UFC’s first and only flyweight champion, winning it in a bout with Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 before going on to successfully defend it 3 times. The Washington State-based “Mighty Mouse” has been criticized in the past for not being a finisher, but has silenced the majority of his detractors as of late by notching consecutive finishes in his last two bouts – submitting John Moraga at UFC on FOX 8 and knocking out Benavidez in their rematch at UFC on FOX 9. Will Johnson be able to make it 4 straight successful title defenses with a win against the heavy-handed Bagautinov?
Bagautinov (13-2) is one of the current crop of Dagestani Samboists wreaking havoc in MMA. A well-rounded athlete with a World Combat Sambo gold medal – as well numerous Master and International Master of Sports titles from the Russian government – Bagautinov is currently on a 11 fight win streak, including victories over John Lineker and Tim Elliot in the UFC. Will he be able to get a 12th consecutive victory and be the man to dethrone Johnson as the flyweight kingpin?
MacDonald (16-2) is considered by many to be Canada’s next great hope at welterweight. Last seen taking a unanimous decision victory over Demian Maia at UFC 170, the 24 year-old “Ares” has already stated that he’s gunning for a shot at the new champion, Johny Hendricks. Will he get it with a big win over Woodley?
Woodley (13-2) is also coming off a victory at UFC 170. The Strikeforce import used his powerful leg kicks to stop Carlos Condit in the first round, catching the former title challenger off-guard enough to cause a severe knee injury before calling for a title shot in his post-fight interview. Will he get it by beating MacDonald?
UFC 174 goes down on June 14th at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.
*Photo courtesy of UFC.com