UFC 174 took place on Saturday night, and the very little dust that was kicked up has settled and now the focus is on who fights who moving forward.
The main event of the evening saw Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson dominate Ali Bagautinov to successfully defend his UFC Flyweight title for the fourth time and establish himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters around today.
The unanimous decision victory for Johnson means he's now beat every top five fighter in the flyweight division and as such, if there's going to be title fights, they'll have to be rematches.
There have been some inklings that Johnson could return to bantamweight to face the likes of TJ Dillashaw or Renan Barao, but that division needs to clear up first, so expect John Dodson to be the next challenger to 'Mighty Mouse'
For Bagautinov, the UFC could give #8 Chris Cariaso another chance to prove himself as one of the top fighters in the division. He's previously lost to Jussier Formiga and Joseph Benavidez but is on a three fight win streak.
The co-main event of the evening saw Rory MacDonald pick apart Tyron Woodley, but it wasn't enough to convince Dana White that he should get the next title shot against Johny Hendricks.
MacDonald won via unanimous decision and looked the best he's ever been and at 22, there's a lot of time for him to improve upon that even further. He said that he's coming for the title soon and with the backing of legend, Georges St-Pierre, he could be destined for greatness.
A chance to avenge one of his two career losses with a fight against Carlos Condit is possible, however, a number one contender's fight against the winner of Hector Lombard vs. Dong Hyun Kim seems the likely option.
As for Tyron Woodley, after the event Dana White put him on blast, saying that Woodley 'chokes' when he needs to perform on the big stage. There are a few undefeated fighters in the division that could use a test, Mike Pyle at 11-0 is open but if he waits, Gunnar Nelson at 14-0 (15-0 if he wins his next fight) would be good fights.
Also on the card, there was two light heavyweight fights as #9 Ryan Bader beat the #11 Rafael Cavalcante and #12 Ovince St. Preux beat Ryan Jimmo with the only finish of the main card.
Bader gassed out Cavalcante and took the unanimous decision, which once again puts him on the fringes of elite, while St. Preux managed to break Jimmo's arm in the second round which led to a rare verbal submission as Jimmo screamed 'my arm is broken, my arm is broken'.
The two winners could meet each other in couple months as they both expressed an interest in fighting each other in the post-fight conference. There is a chance that Bader could face 'Mr Wonderful' Phil Davis, who lost to 'Rumble' Johnson at UFC 172.
Cavalcante is 1-2 in his last two fights, and whether or not the UFC will want him 'gatekeeping' the lower talent is unclear. He'll get another chance but I imagine it will be against a new signing. Jimmo's timeline for recovery is unclear with his arm, so it's hard to 'book him' moving forward.
Finally, Andrei Arlovski returned to the UFC in drab fashion as he beat Brendan Schaub via split decision, which some called controversial but Dana White called boring.
Both fighters offered very little moving forward and aside from a big uppercut and hammerfist from Schaub in rounds two and three, it was very much a drab affair.
Arlovski blamed nerves for his poor performance and he'll have to look better next time. The former champion is now tied with several fighters at 11 wins in the UFC, one of those is Gabriel Gonzaga. A fight with him would break the tie and would be a good platform for Arlovski to reestablish himself.
Schaub has a lot of work to do to recover from the loss and bring more excitement to his fights. He'll drop out of the top 15 with the loss, but the division is shallow, which will help another climb.
He could look for retribution and fight the returning Ben Rothwell again, who he lost to or fight some of the lower talent on the undercards in order to boost his confidence again.
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