UFC 174 takes place tomorrow night so it’s about time we gave you our predictions for all the fights.

Main Card:

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov

Bagautinov got his title shot perhaps a little prematurely due to the fact that Johnson has already defeated a who’s who of the division, but he’s still a talented fighter with good power and a solid wrestling background.

However, the champion is one of the most well rounded, technical fighters in the sport, and combined with the fact that he’s lightning quick that makes him exceptionally difficult to defeat.

Johnson has been dropped a few times, so a Bagautinov power punch is his best route to victory, but he telegraphs his shots and Johnson’s constant movement, speed and reactions should limit his opportunities.

I’d expect Johnson to pick apart his opponent on the feet, mix things up with takedowns, and turn up the heat in the later rounds as his cardio advantage pays off to earn a convincing decision victory.

Demetrious Johnson to win by decision.

Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley

Woodley has very good wrestling and some serious power in his hands, but MacDonald is the more complete mixed martial artist overall and is technically very sound.

MacDonald does the fundamentals very well and I think a good jab and solid takedown defense will take him a long way against Woodley. He also pieces together combinations of strikes nicely, whereas Woodley will be looking for one big punch to end the fight on the feet.

I’d expect Woodley to attempt to get into the clinch a lot if he’s unsuccessful in the striking battle, but MacDonald won’t be overwhelmed there and should be able to minimize those opportunities by keeping at range. Overall I feel that MacDonald will come out on top, but I’m not convinced it’ll be the most exciting fight and I doubt he’ll be able to finish Woodley.

Rory MacDonald to win by decision.

Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante

‘Feijao’ is the better overall striker here though his defense isn’t the best, while Bader does has good power in his hands, but isn’t the fastest or most versatile in terms of his offensive output.

Bader is a strong wrestler though and that could be his smartest route to victory here, and I can see him getting ‘Feijao’ down and finishing him with ground and pound here.

Ryan Bader to win by TKO in Rd2.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub

Arlovski has only lost once in his last eight fights, but it’s a record that flatters to decieve a little as he’s put in quite a few underwhelming performances along the way and been rocked several times in the process.

As questionable as his chin is though, the same can be said of Schaub who’s only a couple of fights removed from two brutal KO’s in a row. Couple that with the fact that both men hit hard and one punch could certainly be enough to end either’s night here.

Schaub proved against Lavar Johnson that he’s not afraid to take the fight to the mat and grind out a victory if required and his submission game is improving too, so I think he has more ways to win here, and together with him being the younger and more athletic fighter at this stage in their careers I’m leaning towards him here – but it really could go either way.

Brendan Schaub to win by submission in Rd2.

Ryan Jimmo vs. Ovince St. Preux

We potentially have another close fight on our hands here. Jimmo is a karate stylist who also brings good clinch work and wrestling to the cage.

OSP’s biggest strengths are also in striking and wrestling though his submission game is coming along too, and for me he’s been more consistent in his performances over the course of his career and I believe is the more talented fighter of the two overall.

Jimmo will try to win ugly here with stifling clinch work, but I think he’ll struggle to overpower OSP from there and St.Preux’s more orthadox approach to striking will prove to be more effective in the stand-up exchanges, doing enough over the course of three rounds to eek out a decision victory.

Ovince St.Preux to win by decision.


Daniel Sarafian vs. Kiichi Kunimoto
Yves Jabouin vs. Mike Easton
Kajan Johnson vs. Tae Hyun Bang
Elizabeth Phillips vs. Valerie Letourneau
Roland Delorme vs. Michinori Tanaka
Jason Saggo vs. Josh Shockley

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.


  1. I like your picks. I like them so much that this time around I finally went through with my experiment.

    I signed up for an online sports betting site and put money on McDonald and Bader. Its just an experiment. You see, I only put up 20.00

    The plan was to bet 5.00 per fight based on your picks. But I accidently bet 10.00 on Bader and 10.00 on McDonald based on your picks. They wont let me pull my bet back and spread it a bit thinner throughout the card so I am stuck with just those two fights. So the experiment is already off to a poor start. If your picks are right, I am gonna parlay the winnings and spread them evenly on the next card. I just want to see how high I can get with the bets spread out based on your picks.

    It aint nothing but 20.00 bucks anyway. If I win both bets, I will be up to 35-38 dollars depending on how much the odds fluctuate before the bets close.

    If I win this time, the next card is gonna be real interesting because I can spread the winnings throughout all your picks. We will see what happens. Im kinda sweating about the McDonald fight because Tyron Woolry has some sick power in his hands. However, McDonald was able to stay ~~reasonably~ composed when eating Robbie Lawlers big shots. But yea, we’ll see. Its only 20.00 at stake but for some reason I am excited like its 200.00

    I guess because I have a bit more confidence in your picks over mine. Just for the record, I would have went with Mcdonald and Rafael Cavalcante.

    I just dont believe Vader has any heart. It only takes a few strikes to break his will.
    We’ll see.

  2. Eek, I’m scared now. Apologies in advance if it doesn’t work out!

    I see MacDonald Vs Woodley being a very close fight, it could easily go either way and my pick on Bader really is a gamble (pun not intended!) based on the idea that he’ll use his wrestling – if he just stands and trades then it could turn ugly.

    Risky bets, but I wish you lots of luck with them and if nothing else, hopefully it’ll make the fights more exciting to watch.

  3. Do you also do predictions on horses?
    So far my it looks like this 20.00 + your picks = 35.00
    I cant wait to see what happens next card.

  4. Ben Schwartz, I hope you got in on this. We may have stumbled on to something here. No pressure, Ross. Just keep doing what your doing. I do understand that anything can happen in MMA so I no worries. I also gotta take into consideration what is going on with these judges. Brendan Schwaub won that fight. If I were to place my bets a week earlier, I would have bet highly on Ross Pearson and end up calling the police after that joke decision.

  5. Great, I was relieved to see I got those two fights right knowing that you had money on them!

    Just make sure not to go overboard the next time you bet as it could easily go wrong, especially with the wacky decision we’ve been getting lately!

  6. I thought Schaub won too, although not by much as both guys fought poorly. Definitely not as bad as the Pearson decision though.