Demetrious Johnson addresses the media during the press conference after UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Demetrious Johnson faces Ali Bagautinov in UFC 174 main event


Widely considered one of the most underrated pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC, Demetrious Johnson will headline a UFC pay-per-view for the first time against Ali Bagautinov. The fight will be the main attraction for UFC 174 on June 14 at Rogers Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Johnson has somewhat been the face of the UFC on FOX, headlining three cards in his last three bouts. After drawing against Ian McCall in unfortunate circumstances – Johnson was originally awarded the win, though this turned out to be a judging error and the fight should have gone into a fourth round – the current flyweight champion has been on a tear since dropping from bantamweight.

Johnson made the decision to move down in weight after an unsuccessful shot at Dominick Cruz’s title, along with the introduction of a new 125lbs weight class that better suited his small frame. DJ has now won five in a row, which is coincidentally the men ranked 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the division. After defeating Joseph Benavidez for a second time in December, Johnson is now left with few contenders for his belt.

In Ali Bagautinov, Johnson faces one of the most feared strikers at 125lbs. Bagautinov is 3-0 in the UFC and coming off the most impressive victory of his career over top ranked power puncher John Lineker. This has earned him the #5 rank and a shot at the title, and the Russian will hope to make it twelve in a row over the heavy favourite ‘Mighty Mouse’.

Demetrious Johnson will defend his flyweight title against Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174, which also features a pivotal welterweight bout between Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley. The card will be held at Rogers Centre in Vancouver, BC on June 14.

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Tags: Ali Bagautinov Demetrious Johnson John Lineker Joseph Benavidez Ufc 174