In the main event at UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov, UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1 MMA; 7-1-1 UFC) defends the title against Ali Bagautinov (13-2 MMA; 3-0 UFC). This five round Flyweight title fight headlines the five fight UFC 174 PPV main card. The UFC Rankings have Bagautinov as the #4 contender at 125 pounds, with champion Johnson at #4 on the pound for pound list. UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov airs live from Vancouver this Saturday, June 14. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 7:00 p.m. ET on Fight Pass, and 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
This should be a great fight, but also one with a potentially interesting business side. For the first time in its existence, the Flyweight world title will headline a UFC PPV. So far, Johnson has been built up on Fox, and this time he's taking the spotlight on the big stage. It will be very interesting to see how this show sells and if Johnson (or Bagautinov perhaps) is indeed a viable PPV draw. Certainly the UFC could use another draw - can this division provide it?
How do these two stack up?
Johnson: 27 years old | 5'3" | 66" reach
Bagautinov: 28 years old | 5'4" | 66" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson made his name as a Bantamweight in the WEC and UFC. When the Flyweight division was started in 2012, Johnson immediately dropped down and he hasn't lost since, with three successful title defenses to his name. Under the tutelage of the great Matt Hume, Johnson has shown incredible skill, evolving into a better and better fighter every time we see him. He's coming off a spectacular and surprising KO win (his first under the Zuffa banner) and is now being touted as perhaps the #1 pound for pound. The last person to receive that praise was Renan Barao - can Johnson avoid the curse?
Ali Bagautinov has been in the UFC for less than a year. Before making his debut in 2013, he had fought exclusively in Russia. After starting his career 2-2, he's now on an 11 fight win streak and has looked good in his three UFC wins. Bagautinov has great credentials in a lot of different disciplines including Sambo, wrestling, Pankration, and jiu jitsu. He's more of a stand up fighter generally, but has a well rounded skillset and poses a good threat to the champion.
Why should you care?
Johnson is a must watch fighter right now - you don't want to miss him.