UFC card taking shape with B.C. content
Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Joseph Benavidez (blue gloves) during the flyweight championship bout of the UFC in this file photo, Dec. 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
The UFC is coming to Rogers Arena on June 14 and it now has a main event with Demetrious Johnson putting his flyweight title on the line against Ali Bagautinov (13-2-1). Johnson is coming off a vicious knock-out win over Joseph Benavidez back in December and Bagautinov notched his 11th win in a row when he beat John Lineker at UFC 169.
B.C.’s Rory MacDonald also returns to Vancouver when he takes on a Tyron Woodley. MacDonald had started to look like a shadow of his former self, seeming almost lethargic and too conservative in his approach. After a loss to Robbie Lawler late last year, the Quesnel native had to go back to the drawing board.
“At the end of the day, walking out of the Octagon not getting my hand raised was a good thing for me,” MacDonald said. “I needed to lose ... I'm motivated more than ever now, I'm very hungry. I feel like I have that fire back."
MacDonald will need all the fire he can muster when he takes on the toughest opponent of his career in Woodley. The winner of this fight would most likely be in line for UFC welterweight champ Johny Hendricks sometime in the fall. Woodley took exception to guys like Nick Diaz and MacDonald calling out Hendricks after he won the title at UFC 170. “I think they're sharing the same bag of weed," Woodley said.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a petition to have local fighter Kajan Johnson on the UFC 174 card. The Burns Lake native was a big part of team Canada on the recent TUF Nations, but lost a heartbreaker in the semis to friend and teammate Chad Laprise.
The petition, which was on MMASucka.com, went viral and the UFC heard our voices. Johnson is set to make is long overdue UFC debut in front of his family and friends when he squares off against Tae Hyun Bang.
This is great news as Johnson has overcome many obstacles to realize his much-deserved dream. I think his tweet said it best: “If you would have told me last summer that I’d get into UFC but I would have to get KO’ed and break my jaw first I’d still have done it.”