UFC 174’s Top Performers: And the Bonus Goes to…

TaeHyunBang_HeadshotUFC 174 was live from Vancouver last night and was the worst UFC Pay Per View event thus far in 2014. After the event concluded, the UFC awarded $50,000 to two fighters for Performance of the Night and two fighters for Fight of the Night. The lines to wager on these props were available at Several Bookmakerss. Tae Hyun Bang earns Performance of the Night (formerly, Knockout of the Night) After rocking Kajan Johnson in rounds one and two, though likely losing both rounds on the judges’ scorecards, Bang countered a Johnson kick and a hard punch that dropped the Canadian to the canvas and forced the referee to immediately step in before Bang had a chance to tee-off. It was an impressive performance by Bang, who post-fight said to have been feeling lethargic inside the Octagon. Lethargic or not, he scored an impressive finish, pocket $50,000, and most importantly, got himself back in the win column. Noteworthy T/KOs : – Jason Saggo defeated Josh Shockley via TKO in the very first round of action, with only three seconds remaining in the frame. He dominated Shockley on the mat and his ground-and-pound proved to be too much for him. Referee Yves Lavigne gave Shockley every chance to fight back or defend properly, but he failed to do so and left the referee no choice. I think it was a very good stoppage, and a fantastic debut for Saggo. The main reason this TKO was noteworthy is because Saggo kept his 100% finish rate intact with it. It was also the only other T/KO finish on the entire 11-fight card Kiichi Kunimoto earns Performance of the Night (formerly, Submission of the Night) The second biggest underdog on the card from top to bottom, Kiichi Kunimoto came through impressively with a first round rear naked choke submission victory over the very tough Daniel Sarafian. The Brazilian-Armenian hurt Kunimoto with a quick one-two combination; and after feeling Sarafian’s power, the veteran decided he wanted no part of the striking game. He engaged Sarafian in the clinch and took the fight to the mat, soon taking his back while simultaneously sinking his arm under the TUF: Brazil veteran’s neck, and ultimately earning the tap. That marked the first time Sarafian has been submitted in his professional Mixed Martial Arts career. This was also Sarafian’s debut at welterweight. He cut down because he was undersized at middleweight, but against Kunimoto, he again found himself severely undersized. Noteworthy Submissions : – None. The only other submission on the card was Ryan Jimmo verbally submitting due to a broken arm during the second round of his light heavyweight bout against Ovince St. Preux. OSP claims to have broken his arm using a “chicken wing” submission he had been working on in the gym, but he has received no such credited yet and the victory is still ruled a submission due to injury, not a specific submission.   Kajan Johnson and Tae Hyun Bang earn Fight of the Night for having the most entertaining bout on the entire UFC 174 card, which featured 11 bouts, including a five fight main card that was live on Pay Per View. Johnson vs Bang was the opening bout of the preliminary card on FOX Sports 1, and next to the MacDonald vs Woodley co-main event, it was this bout that drew the most cheers from the Canadian crowd. This lightweight scrap was very entertaining and competitive for the entire 12 minutes it lasted, from start to knockout. Johnson was the more technical striker and was landing more in volume, but it was the Korean who was landing the devastating shots. After a few had landed and rocked Johnson, it was a counter to a kick in the third that finally did Johnson in. Coming off his second broken jaw in his last bout against Chad Laprise in the TUF: Nations semi-finals, it is certainly a bright side that this brutal knockout did not give him his third broken jaw, in which case I think he would have no choice but to hang up his gloves. Other noteworthy fights: -Valerie Letourneau and Elizabeth Phillips went to war for 15 minutes, each making impressive debut’s and being solid additions to the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division. Both ladies took this bout on very short notice; two weeks for Letourneau, and only one week for Phillips. The extra week could have been just the slight hair she needed to edge her split decision victory over Phillips, who had no time to prepare for the bout, as she had to immediately make travel arrangements and begin cutting weight. It had its slow moments, but it was overall an entertaining fight, and both ladies showed great heart and made a good impression with fight fans. -Rory MacDonald defeated Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision, getting a 30-27 across the board. It was complete domination for MacDonald, and arguably the best performance of his Octagon career. The fight in itself was nothing spectacular, because it was completely one sided; but it was very fun to watch Rory MacDonald display his tools, new and old. For that reason, I was quite entertained with this bout, which was not easy to do considering the horrendous Arlovski decision and the lackluster Bader vs Feijao bout that followed.

Written by Gabe Killian

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