Following every UFC and Invicta FC event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov, which took place on June 14 from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada.

Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson

It may have been one of the worst main cards in quite some time, but you can’t deny the fact that Demetrious Johnson was masterful in the headliner.

The UFC flyweight champion defended his title for the fourth time, dominating Ali Bagautinov in a unanimous decision victory. “Mighty Mouse” continues to get better and better inside the Octagon, and he shows no signs of slowing down as the king of the 125-pound division.

The next defense for Johnson will likely come in a rematch against a fighter he defeated a year ago, John Dodson.

Dodson has built his stock back up since losing by unanimous decision to Johnson last July. He has stopped Darrell Montague and John Moraga before the third round. His coaching staff now knows Johnson very well after Dodson and his Jackson’s MMA teammate, Ali Bagautinov, faced the champ. With that coaching knowledge at play and power in his hands, the challenger has a legitimate chance.

The puzzle of the champion’s lightning-quick movement has yet to be solved, but Dodson is likely to get another chance to put the pieces together later this year.

Rory MacDonald vs. Dong Hyun Kim-Hector Lombard winner

The co-main event of the evening can be viewed in two different ways. You could first look at it as a very impressive performance on behalf of Rory MacDonald. However, you could say his opponent, Tyron Woodley, choked in a huge fight after bargaining for a title shot. Both points are valid.

It was another clinic by MacDonald on the feet. The Canadian used his jabs very effectively to frustrate Woodley. On the flip side, Woodley could never find the mark with his wild shots, and he was even controlled in the wrestling department where he usually has an edge.

There are three candidates vying for a shot at 170-pound champion Johny Hendricks. MacDonald has done his part, but there is still one big fight on the horizon. It features Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler, who will meet on July 26. UFC President Dana White has already stated that the winner of Brown-Lawler will be next in line for a title shot, and that’s the right move to make.

Hendricks vs. MacDonald is certainly an intriguing fight that probably happens eventually, but Brown and Lawler have been on fire and Lawler has a win over MacDonald to further his claim for a title bid. No matter who comes out on top at UFC on Fox 12, that man will produce a barnburner against Hendricks.

While MacDonald is waiting for his own turn at the belt, he should step into the Octagon opposite another contender. The most likely pairing would find him taking on the winner of the upcoming contest between Hector Lombard and Dong Hyun Kim. Lombard has won three of his last four to reinsert his name into the title picture. Meanwhile, Kim is riding a four-fight winning streak and holds an overall UFC record of 10-2 with one no-contest.

Ryan Bader vs. Ovince St. Preux

Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux, two light heavyweights, picked up wins Saturday on the main card, but they took different routes to victory.

Bader defeated Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante via unanimous decision in a fight that wasn’t even close. Feijao fell victim to Bader’s smothering wrestling game. As a result, the Brazilian had little eagerness in his attacks.

St. Preux kicked off the main card against Ryan Jimmo. In the second round, Jimmo suffered an arm injury, declaring,”My arm is broken!” as St. Preux was in control on the mat. The fight was ruled a win for OSP via verbal submission, giving him his fifth straight victory.

With Bader and St. Preux winning on the same card and residing near each other in the rankings, it’s a no-brainer to pair them up. Both fighters are talented on the feet and in their ground games, so it makes for a great match-up in a big fight.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Matt Mitrione-Stefan Struve winner

The end result for Andrei Arlovski in his return to the UFC was a win, but it certainly can’t be viewed as a moral victory.

Arlovski fought Brendan Schaub in a heavyweight bout, with the fight going three rounds. Schaub appeared to have done slightly enough to get the win despite a poor performance, whereas Arlovski looked awful. In the end, though, Arlovski won by split decision in what will go down as one of the worst fights of 2014.

After that performance, it feels wrong to even include a next fight for Arlovski. But a win is a win. Up next for the Belarusian should be a fight against the winner of the upcoming bout between Matt Mitrione and Stefan Struve, who will fight at UFC 175 on July 5.

Mitrione is coming off a knockout victory over Shawn Jordan. Struve, after dealing with a heart condition, will be stepping in the cage for the first time since March 2013. Arlovski will be recovered in time to fight the winner, and he’ll certainly hope to put the memory of his performance on Saturday behind him.

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.