Andrei Arlovski scored the upset in his long-awaited return to the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder Andrei Arlovski provided the sole upset on the UFC 174 main card, as he took a split decision over Brendan Schaub on Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The odds were relatively even ahead of the bout, with Schaub (-157) a slight favorite over Arlovski (+132), according to BetDSI.com. Neither fighter made a significant statement once inside the Octagon, as they combined for a lackluster affair that was later panned by UFC President Dana White. An uneventful first round gave way to the second, where Arlovski landed some effective strikes. Schaub delivered a takedown and executed some ground-and-pound in the third, only to watch the Belarusian walk away with the decision.
The biggest upset at UFC 174 was also the most decisive. Most expected Daniel Sarafian, a -495 favorite, to dominate on the ground, but Kiichi Kunimoto (+395) utilized his jab and low kicks to keep the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt at bay. Kunimoto delivered a takedown, defended against an attempted guillotine, secured back mount and ultimately finished Sarafian with a rear-naked choke 2:52 into round one, pocketing a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus in the process.
Meanwhile, Sikjitsu’s Elizabeth Phillips was a slight favorite (-120) over the more seasoned Valerie Letourneau (+100), as she entered here UFC debut on a four-fight winning streak. Phillips put a stiff jab and brutal straight right to use in the first round, but Letourneau battled through serious damage to her left eye and utilized some crisp combinations of her own. She used knees, uppercuts, straight rights and kicks to the legs and body to pick apart Phillips, her aggression and conditioning paving the way to a split decision victory.
Elsewhere, Mike Easton (-215) peppered Yves Jabouin (+180) with straights rights during the first round of their bantamweight fight and attempted a choke after executing a kimura sweep in the third. However, he did not have an answer for the Tristar Gym standout’s stealthy takedowns and relentless combinations. Jabouin attacked with kicks, elbows, uppercuts, right hooks and knees for the unanimous nod, handing Easton his fourth straight loss.
Finally, Korean Top Team’s Tae Hyun Bang (+166) knocked out Kajan Johnson (-195) 2:01 into the third round of their lightweight clash, as he won for the first time inside the Octagon and collected $100,000 in bonus money for “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night.”