The UFC 174 preliminary card concluded with the most surprising performance coming from Japanese underdog Kiichi Kunimoto, who defeated the highly favoured Daniel Sarafian, who made a disappointing start to his career as a welterweight. Kunimoto dominated Sarafian en route to a first round submission, and – with three loses in four – it is hard to see where the TUF Brazil castmate goes from here.
Valerie Letourneau put in a gutsy performance against Elizabeth Phillips in the women’s bantamweight division, with both fighters coming in on short notice. Phillips had a solid first round and landed significant damage on Letourneau, whose right eye was almost shut after the first round and got worse from there. However the Canadian turned it around, winning the second and third en route to a split decision victory.
Yves Jabouin got back to winning ways with a decision over Mike Easton, handing the American his fourth loss in a row and all-but-confirming that he will have to look for employment elsewhere. Jabouin showed improved wrestling and technical stand-up, winning the first two rounds decisively before a late flurry by Easton in the third. He is now likely to move into the top 15 of the bantamweight division after defeating the man ranked #8.
Lightweight debutant Tae Hyun Bang made a successful first Octagon appearance with a third round knockout over TUF Nations castmate Kajan Johnson. An underdog coming into the fight, Bang rocked Johnson in all three rounds, ultimately ending the fight with one huge shot as he put a stamp on a great performance in brutal fashion. Just over two minutes into the final round, Bang countered Johnson with a huge overhand right that shut down the lights.
Michinori Tanaka silenced the crowd with a dominant three round win over Canadian bantamweight Roland Delorme, who has now lost his last two and has won just once in four. Tanaka remained undefeated and at just 23, showed why he is considered a big prospect at 135lbs. He dominated in all areas, and made a statement with that performance over the hometown favourite.
Opening the card was a lightweight tilt between two UFC debutants in Jason Saggo and Josh Shockley, with Saggo winning via TKO with just 3 seconds remaining in the first round. Saggo was far superior to his opponent, getting Shockley’s back, flattening him out and unloading heavy ground and pound which forced the referee to stop the fight. Shockley looked out of his depth at times, and Saggo showed his worth with a good debut.
Check out our full play-by-play here. These are the results for the card as it stands.
Preliminary Card: FX
Kiichi Kunimoto def. Daniel Sarafian via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:52 in first round.
Valerie Letourneau def. Elizabeth Phillips via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Yves Jabouin def. Mike Easton via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Tae Hyun Bang def. Kajan Johnson via knockout (punch) at 2:01 in third round.
Preliminary Card: UFC Fight Pass
Michinori Tanaka def. Roland Delorme via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
Jason Saggo def. Josh Shockley via TKO (punches) at 4:57 in first round.