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Parity Should Provide Plenty Of Entertainment At UFC 174

Posted by Jack “The Hammer” Howard on 6/13/2014 10:53:01 PM

The UFC Flyweight Championship will be on the line when the UFC makes its return to the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, for UFC 174 this Saturday night. In one of the most competitive cards of 2014, UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will look to extend his win streak to six, and successfully defend his title for a fourth-straight time, when he battles rising star and No. 1 contender Ali Bagautinov in the main event of what should be an exciting main card from top to bottom. In fact, the championship bout is the only one on the main card that doesn’t have nearly pick’em odds, with Johnson the heavy favorite at minus-550 to win.

Opening up for the main card will be a light heavyweight bout between Ryan Jimmo and Ovince St. Preux. Jimmo, who knocked out Sean O’Connell at the Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale the last time we saw him in the Octagon, will look to build on that performance not far from his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta when he clashes with St. Preux. It won’t be easy though, as the former Tennessee linebacker has won three-straight to improve to 3-0 in the UFC, including a first-round submission win over Nikita Krylov in his last appearance. St. Preux is a slight favorite at minus-150, with Jimmo listed at plus-120 to win.

Next up, a heavyweight contest between a couple of MMA veterans in Andrei Arlovski and Matt Schaub. The 35-year old Arlovski will try to make his return after four years away from the Octagon, as he looks to pick up from where he left off when he followed up a string of three-straight wins by suddenly retiring in 2008. Arlovski is listed at plus-125 against a slightly younger opponent in Schaub, who will be a minus-155 favorite as he tries to build a three-fight win streak of his own following a first-round submission victory over Matt Mitrione at the UFC 165 event.

The second light heavyweight bout of the night will feature Ryan Bader trying to break through against another veteran in Rafael Cavalcante. Bader, who is the favorite at minus-155, has split his last eight fights at 4-4, and will look to break through with some consistency in this bout. Cavalcante is coming off a first-round TKO win over Igor Pokrajac at the UFC Fight Night 32 event, and is a very capable underdog at plus-125.

The co-main event will feature rising star and Canadian Rory MacDonald, who is fighting out of Montreal, Quebec. MacDonald has won seven of nine UFC fights, including most recently a unanimous decision victory over Demain Maia at UFC 170. Listed at minus-105, MacDonald will face one of his toughest tests so far against Tyron Woodley in what will be a prime Fight of the Night candidate. Woodley has earned consecutive knockout wins over Josh Koscheck and Carlos Condit to establish himself as a top contender for the UFC Welterweight title and the favorite for this fight at minus-125, with an excellent chance to earn a shot against the champion Johny Hendricks.

That will pave the way for the main event – a UFC Flyweight title fight between the champion Johnson and the challenger Bagautinov. Unlike the rest of the card, this tilt features a massive favorite in Johnson, who is listed at minus-550 to successfully defend his title. The “Mighty Mouse” is currently the fourth-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, and he should be able to take care of the “Puncher” in the main event and extend his run to four-straight successful title defenses.

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