Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will finally get a chance to headline a UFC pay-per-view event when he headlines UFC 174 against Ali Bagautinov in Vancouver, Canada on June 14th.
Johnson has had to make do with fronting three ‘UFC On FOX’ events last year which helped expose him to millions of potential fans, and of the back of his most impressive performance to date, knocking out Joseph Benavidez in the first round back in December, he’s now headed for PPV.
The Russian born Bagautinov, aka ‘The Puncher King’, finds himself elevated to title contention after compiling a three-fight winning streak since joining the UFC last year.
In total his record stands at 13-2 and he’s currently placed at No.5 on the flyweight rankings. With the fighters above him having already been unsuccessful in their attempts to defeat ‘Mighty Mouse’, Bagautinov has been handed a golden opportunity to make a name for himself on the big stage.
Also now official for UFC 174 is a welterweight fight between Tyron Woodley and Rory MacDonald which could well establish a new No.1 contender in the division to challenge Johny Hendricks later in the year.
Recent stoppage victories against Josh Koscheck and Carlos Condit have helped propel former Strikeforce fighter Woodley swiftly up the 170lb ladder to No.4, and as a result he’s just signed a new eight-fight deal with the promotion.
MacDonald is currently perched to places above Woodley in the rankings after shaking off a split decision loss to Robbie Lawler with a convincing decision victory against Demian Maia that leaves him 7-2 overall in the Octagon to date.
Today’s announcement completes the line-up of forthcoming PPV event headliners up to July of this year, with each playing host to a title fight. Check out what’s in store in the coming months below.
UFC 172 (April 26th): Jon Jones Vs Glover Teixeira (Light-Heavyweight Title)
UFC 173 (May 24th): Renan Barao Vs TJ Dillashaw (Bantamweight Title)
UFC 174 (June 14th): Demetrious Johnson Vs Ali Bagautinov (Flyweight Title)
UFC 175 (July 5th): Chris Weidman Vs Lyoto Machida (Middleweight Title)