VANCOUVER - UFC president Dana White credits the rise of the companys flyweight division to a champion nicknamed after a cartoon character. Discount Jerseys China . "Every time he fights he gets better and better," White said of Demetrious Johnson this week. "You talk about legacies - his legacy is going to be as the guy who built this division." Known in the cage as "Mighty Mouse," Johnson will look to continue that work on Saturday night at UFC 174 when he defends his title against Ali (Puncher) Bagautinov in the octagon at Rogers Arena - the first time a 125-pound division bout will anchor a pay-per view card. "Its awesome," said the five-foot-three Johnson. "The UFC has given us a shot to headline a big pay-per view so Im pretty pumped to be the man to front that bill. Hopefully we can put on an exciting show on Saturday." Johnson (19-2-1 all-time) won the UFCs inaugural flyweight title back in 2012 and has defended it three times since, including a knockout of Joseph Benavidez in December. The 27-year-old who fights out of Parkland, Wash., said the pressure of a pay-per view spectacle doesnt add any pressure to put on a show. "My jobs to go out there and fight," said Johnson, who has a record of 7-1-1 in UFC. "If you look at all the flyweight fights, there hasnt been one boring one. Obviously theres boring fights in every single division. "But I havent sat there and watched a fight and thought, Man that was pretty boring." Johnson said the five-foot-four Bagautinov (13-2, 3-0) will pose a unique challenge because the 29-year-old Russian specializes in Sambo fighting, a form of mixed martial arts that he has never faced. "In order to keep my belt Ive just got to go out there and be myself and just fight," said Johnson, a heavy favourite in the eyes of bookmakers against the fourth-ranked challenger. "Regardless of whatever happens with this fight, whether I win or lose, the same thing is going to happen (afterwards). Im going to go home, relax and get ready for my next fight, whether its be defending my belt or trying to get it back." Saturday nights co-main event has Canadas Rory (Ares) MacDonald taking on Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley in a welterweight matchup between the No. 2- and No. 3-ranked challengers for Johny Hendricks belt. "Its the biggest fight ever for (MacDonald) and Woodley," said White. "Saturday night is the night that both these two have got to go out and make people want to see them fight for the title." The soft-spoken MacDonald — who was born in Quesnel B.C., but now fights out of Montreal and was mentored by Georges St-Pierre - said the Woodley fight is a chance to show he belongs at the top of the 170-pound division. "Its a big opportunity. Every fight you take is a big opportunity, but this on in particular," said the 24-year-old. "Im facing a very talented opponent and Im very excited to be matched up against someone like that and challenge my techniques against his." MacDonald (16-2, 7-2) lost to Robbie Lawler in a split decision at Novembers UFC 167, but rebounded to take a unanimous decision against Demian Maia at UFC 170 in February. "Losing can be a good thing in the long run for a mixed martial artist," said MacDonald. "You learn your weaknesses and turn them into strengths." A technically sound fighter who learned his craft at the famed Tristar Gym alongside St-Pierre in Montreal, MacDonald said he believes hes ready to take his game to the next level. "I want people to talk after my fights and be like Wow thats another Rory MacDonald I havent seen. Thats the best Rory MacDonald Ive seen so far. Thats my goal for this fight." White said MacDonald needs to start turning some of the talk and hype surrounding his talents into consistent performances. "Rory has these moments where he comes out and does nothing," said White. "The fight isnt exciting. He doesnt seem like hes got that killer instinct to finish a fight and get to that next level to be everything that GSP said about him." The 32-year-old Woodley (13-2, 3-1), a former All-American wrestler, scored a technical knockout of Carlos Condit at UFC 171 in March and expects MacDonald to be the most well-rounded fighter he has faced. "Rory is a guy who started doing mixed martial arts all together," said the St. Louis native. "I think thats the biggest challenge. He spent quite a bit of his youth as a teenager training (in) mixed martial arts. Hes had a great camp to train out of, hes had a champion to train under. I think those are the threats, but in actuality Ive had other fights and other fighters whove been a little bit more threatening than Rory. "If you cant really threaten me to freakin knock my head off like certain other guys Ive fought, I just dont get that anxiety." Like MacDonald, Woodley added that he also sees Saturdays bout as a stepping stone to an eventual shot at the UFC welterweight title. "I plan on every fight from now on being me fighting for the title or defending the title," he said. "Im just mentally getting prepared for that. I know that I have to beat guys like him consistently." Its expected that Saturdays crowd at Rogers Arena should be on the side of the B.C.-born MacDonald, but his American opponent, perhaps naively, disagreed. "I really just dont think Rory MacDonald has this huge following in Vancouver like people think," said Woodley. "Hes not Georges St-Pierre. This is not Montreal. "Vancouver fans like MMA and they might like me, they might like him, but I think they respect what I bring to the table and they respect that I respect him, and I think thats enough." White called that view a little far-fetched. "I think hes super delusional if he thinks thats the case," White said with a smile. "Were in Canada, man. Let me tell you what — Canadas going to be cheering for the Canadian." Saturdays card also includes: light heavyweight Ryan (Darth) Bader against Rafael (Feijao) Cavalcante; heavyweight Andrei (The Pit Bull) Arlovski against Brendan (The Hybrid) Schaub; light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux against Ryan (The Big Deal) Jimmo of Saint John, N.B.; welterweight Daniel Sarafian against Kiichi (Strasser) Kunimoto; womens bantamweight Valerie (Trouble) Letourneau of Montreal against Elizabeth Phillips; bantamweight Yves (Tiger) Jabouin against Mike (The Hulk) Easton; lightweight (Ragin) Kajan Johnson of Burns Lake, B.C., against Tae Hyun (Supernatural) Bang; bantamweight Roland Delorme of Winnipeg against Michinori Tanaka; and lightweight Jason Saggo of Toronto against Josh Shockley. Andy Messersmith Jersey Braves . Andrews, Scotland - Oliver Wilson fired a final- round, 2-under 70 on Sunday and he held on to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by one shot. Tom Glavine Jersey Braves . -- Nick Bjugstad snapped out of his scoring slump and spoiled Drew MacIntyres first NHL start.Almost 13 years ago, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation was created by a group of the late curlers friends with the support of the Canadian Curling Association and Scott Paper. The idea came about just over three years after Schmirler was standing on the podium in Nagano 1998, signing our national anthem after capturing the Olympic gold medal in womens curling. Unfortunately, it was also just 14 months after she passed away from a rare form of cancer at the young age of 36. Much like the success Schmirler enjoyed on the ice, the foundation started in her name has been a winner at providing hospitals with funding for the care of premature and critically ill newborn babies across Canada. Despite all the big curling shots she made over the years, including the famous in-off at the 1997 Olympic Trials, Schmirler said giving birth to her only daughter at the time was her best delivery. It was clear that Schmirler never lost sight of what was important in life, which makes her name a perfect fit for the foundation, which bears the slogan Champions start small. Sean Newcomb Jersey Braves. Currently, over 30 hospitals benefit as a result of funding from the foundation and last year, almost $300,000 was made available to those hospitals through grants. And over the 13 years the foundation has been in existence, almost $2.5 million has been allocated to 34 different hospitals Also, six junior curlers received $5,000 each in the first annual Spirit of Sandra Scholarships last year, including Kristin Streifel, who skipped Schmirlers home province of Saskatchewan in this years Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Nova Scotia. Sunday is Sandra Schmirler Day at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Montreal and TSNs Vic Rauter will be hosting the annual telethon for the foundation. Take a few minutes to visit SandraSchmirler.org or call 1-866-210-6011 and make a donation to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation. ' ' '
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DR. Clara PETIT - DR. Julien OSENDA
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