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UFC 174 Betting Notes

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Event: UFC 174
Date: June, 14, 2014
Venue: Rogers Arena
City: Vancouver, Canada

Flyweight Championship: Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1) vs. Ali Bagautinov (13-2)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Johnson -550, Bagautinov +400

Ali Bagautinov looks to pull off the huge shocker and take the flyweight belt as he goes up against champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 174 on Saturday night in Vancouver.

Johnson has been on quite a tear as of late, winning five consecutive matches, including four straight title bouts. In his last victory on Dec. 14, he defeated a very talented fighter in Joseph Benavidez with a vicious knockout in the first round. Johnson is a very complete fighter that has the ability to win any different style of match, and has gone through some very good fighters during his streak. In addition to defeating Benavidez twice during the ride, he also defeated John Moraga by fifth-round submission, and John Dodson. If Johnson is focused and locked in, he will be in great position to win the match.

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For Bagautinov, this is an incredible opportunity for him to show he is for real in the UFC. Bagautinov enters the match on a very impressive 11-fight winning streak, with his last victory coming against John Lineker at UFC 169 on Feb. 1. Bagautinov was able to get the victory over Lineker by way of unanimous decision after holding a 49-27 striking advantage and 6-0 takedown edge. Like Johnson, Bagautinov has shown the ability to win a fight in many different ways, but for the heavy underdog to have any chance to get the win, he has to come out early and really get off to a great start.

"Mighty Mouse" Johnson comes into this fight with 19 wins in his career, with eight of them coming by way of decision. He also has seven victories by submission, with another four wins by way of knockout. Johnson will have an advantage when it comes to striking, landing 3.32 significant strikes per minute, compared to 2.99 for Bagautinov. The 27-year-old Johnson, who fights out of Parkland, WA, also lands a higher percentage of his strikes (51%) than Bagautinov (42%). Johnson is incredibly fast with his strikes, and is very unpredictable when throwing those punches as well. He also has an advantage in takedown average (3.69 to 3.45), while also being more accurate in takedowns (56% to 48% takedown accuracy), and also defends against the takedowns better (62% to 50%).

It's easy to see why Johnson is so heavily favored, having the advantages in pretty much every category. As long as he sticks to his game plan, Johnson will be in great shape to get the win. However, what makes the UFC such an exciting sport is that all it takes is one mistake and the match can change, and Bagautinov does have the knockout power to make that happen.

Of "Puncher" Bagautinov's 13 career victories, five of them have come by way of knockout. He also has four wins by both decision and submission, and has the ability to win any different fight. For the Russian Bagautinov to have a chance of winning this fight, he will have to get off to a great start and really use his punches well. He certainly has this ability, having taken care of six opponents in the first round in his career, but Bagautinov's past three opponents have all lasted to at least the third round.

The 28-year-old former boxer has great strength for this weight class, and will have to use that to his advantage. The 5-foot-4 Bagautinov also has a one-inch height advantage for this fight. This is a very difficult match for him, so he must set the pace early.


Welterweight Bout: Rory MacDonald (16-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (13-2)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Woodley -140, MacDonald +120

Two of the top fighters in the welterweight class go at it Saturday night at UFC 174 as Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley square off for a chance to move into title contention.

MacDonald is coming off a victory against Demian Maia at UFC 170 on Feb. 22, a match that he had to dig deep in and win by unanimous decision. Although he was taken down twice in that match, MacDonald held a significant 75-51 advantage in significant strikes. In his match prior to that on Nov. 16, MacDonald held a 4-0 takedown advantage, but lost by way of controversial split decision to Robbie Lawler. MacDonald is an explosive athlete that has built a very impressive resume with wins over BJ Penn, Jake Ellenberger and Nate Diaz. MacDonald is a terrific athlete that uses his speed and quickness to his advantage.

However, he will also be going up against another great athlete in Tyron Woodley, who is coming off a huge victory against a very talented fighter in Carlos Condit at UFC 171. In that match on March 15, Woodley delivered a leg kick that broke the leg of Condit. With that win against Condit, Woodley showed that he deserves to be in contention for a title chance in the welterweight class. Both of these guys have a great opportunity to possibly earn a shot at the belt.

"The Chosen One" Woodley has 13 victories in his career, with five of them coming by way of knockout. He also has four wins by both decision and submission, showing he is a versatile fighter that can win a match in many different ways. Woodley can also end a match quickly, as he has put away seven of his opponents in the first round. While he does not land nearly as many significant strikes per minute (2.67) as MacDonald does (4.02), Woodley is much more accurate with his strikes (57% compared to 45%).

While he is not landing as many punches, the St. Louis native is throwing his strikes with a purpose, and that is to inflict heavy damage on his opponents. Both guys do an outstanding job of defending against the takedown (94% for Woodley, 88% for MacDonald), so do not expect a lot of attempts at submissions. The 32-year-old Woodley is the stronger fighter, so if this involves multiple times of punches being traded, then Woodley could be in position to get the win. However, MacDonald will not go down easily.

"Ares" MacDonald enters this match with 16 victories in his career, with six wins coming by both knockout and submission. Seven of these dozen wins have occurred in the first round. The 24-year-old MacDonald has also shown he has great cardio by winning four matches by way of decision, including each of his past three victories. For a lot of fighters early in their career, this type of match could be too much. However, MacDonald has fought so many talented fighters that he will definitely be prepared for this match. He lands a lot more punches than Woodley does, but he will have to pick his spots on when to deliver those punches.

If he gets too sporadic and starts swinging, Woodley could have an opportunity to deliver a vicious knockout. But MacDonald should have the crowd on his side considering he was born in Canada and currently trains in Montreal. Both of these fighters have a goal in mind, and have the ability to potentially be the next welterweight champion. This has all of the makings of fight of the night, with the 6-foot-0 MacDonald holding a three-inch height advantage over his opponent.

Ohter UFC 174 Bouts

Odds provided by Sportsbook.ag:

Bantamweight Matchup
Michinori Tanaka -135
Roland Delorme +105

Lightweight Matchup
Jason Saggo -125
Josh Shockley -105

Lightweight Matchup
Kajan Johnson -160
Tae Hyun Bang +130

Bantamweight Matchup
Mike Easton -180
Yves Jabouin +147

Bantamweight Matchup
Elizabeth Phillips -120
Valerie Letourneau -110

Welterweight Matchup
Daniel Sarafian -350
Kiichi Kunimoto +270

Light Heavyweight Matchup
Ovince St Preux -145
Ryan Jimmo +115

Heavyweight Matchup
Brendan Schaub -155
Andrei Arlovski +125

Light Heavyweight Matchup
Ryan Bader -145
Rafael Cavalcante +115

  
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