Thankfully, that's over with.
UFC 174: "Johnson vs. Bagautinov" took place last night (Sat., June 14, 2014) from inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. And it's safe to say our Canadian friends on the west coast have been suffering from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) plague for quite a while now.
There were a handful of fights destined to impress, yet the card was pretty freaking flat to be honest.
Demetrious Johnson continued his flyweight supremacy, decisioning Ali Bagautinov in the main event to successfully defend his strap for the fourth time. It was a bit of a snoozer, yet "Mighty Mouse" showed the world the reason he's going to be a handful and a half for anyone to overcome any time soon.
The co-main event saw Rory MacDonald bring forth a superb performance over Tyron Woodley, outclassing the American for three rounds. MacDonald tore apart Woodley on the feet, looking as good as ever when it came to his striking. He also had his way with "Chosen One" on the mat, which is hard to come by when you think of Woodley's UFC takedown defense.
Also on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card, Andrei Arlovski was awarded a split decision win over Brendan Schaub in a judging call equally as frustrating as Diego Sanchez's "win" over Ross Pearson last week. Not only did it seem as if Arlovski spent the last three nights gambling on slot machines in a strip club, it looked as if he gave up at the end of the second round.
With all due respect to "Hybrid," he shouldn't be nominated as a loser on this list.
That said, it's time to name UFC 174's biggest winner and biggest loser (and their runner ups):
Biggest Winner -- Demetrious Johnson
What can be said about "Mighty Mouse" that more than one dozen MMA media members haven't already said?
Johnson successfully defended his flyweight belt yet again, and apart from getting sucked into the Sambo standout's takedowns, he looked technically sound and unfazed by anything the Dagestani had to offer. His speed was incredible, his combinations were mesmerizing, and his techniques are simply made for the movies.
If there's one negative thing we can say about Johnson's performance, it's that he didn't steal the show when it was there for the taking. But really, who gives a flying crap about that? He had enough pressure on his shoulders as the headliner, and his performance was even better than we thought it would be.
The 125-pound division still has a lot of seats to fill when it comes to the division's contingent, but let's be real and admit we're not picking anyone to defeat the Washington-based champion any time soon.
It's going to get lonely at the top. And nobody is going to be able to wipe "Mighty Mouse's" smile off his face.
Runner Up -- Rory MacDonald
Call him boring, yet an utterly dominant performance is just what the doctor ordered for the welterweight contender. It's also a bonus he did what he did in his home province.
Maybe the Canadian didn't do enough for a title shot since he didn't finish Woodley (and the winner of Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown is still ahead of him), but "Ares" isn't too far off if he commits to these types of performances in the near future.
His striking was crisper than a fresh potato chip, and his control throughout the fight was unreal. Since losing to Lawler at UFC 167, he's been revitalized and regardless of what you think about his fighting style or his lack of thereof when it comes to killer instinct, he's up there in assessing the best welterweights in the world.
Biggest Loser -- Tyron Woodley
The former Strikeforce title challenger was indicating before his co-main event clash that he was going to get gritty and nasty since he would settle for no less in trying to acquire a title shot.
At least "T-Wood" came out blazing in the third round in search of the miracle shot, but "Ares" was having none of it. Woodley was outboxed, taken down (which doesn't happen often), and picked apart by his Canadian foe, while seeing his opportunity at a title shot pass him by.
His win over Carlos Condit is now somewhat meaningless, and he now has a record of 3-3 in his past six fights.
Some seize the moment, while others crumble under pressure. It's just the way it goes.
Runner Up -- Ryan Jimmo
Although Kajan Johnson could fit the billing for this tag since he's lost his last five fights by way of finish (including this blunder), Jimmo had a chance to make some type of noise in a thin light heavyweight division.
Sadly for him, he suffered his second straight defeat because of an injury sustained during the bout, and to top it all off, it happened in his home land of Canada.
This isn't to say the robot master would have earned a shot at Jon Jones by the end of the year, but had he gotten the win over St-Preux on home turf, it could have opened a lot more eyes.
That said, his fight really set the tone for things to come, didn't it?
Sometimes, these things happen in MMA.
For extensive coverage of UFC 174: "Johnson vs. Bagautinov," including video highlights, post-fight recaps and more, click here.