Philly’s Chris Daukaus Big Underdog in Saturday’s UFC Main Event

via UFC

Former Philadelphia police officer Chris Daukaus is headlining his second UFC event this weekend, taking on #4 ranked heavyweight Curtis Blaydes in Ohio:

This is another tough fight for Chris, who enters as a +310 underdog. He lost via KO to former title challenger Derrick Lewis in December, which was first defeat since joining the UFC. Now he’s right back it, three months later, facing another top-five heavyweight in a main event.

Blaydes is an excellent wrestler and take down specialist, and he’s a little bigger than Daukaus. He’s got an inch height advantage, which is negligible, but he’s probably going to carry 15-20 extra pounds. Chris weighed in 235 while Lewis hit the scales at 265 a few months ago. This gives Daukaus a mobility advantage, but if Blaydes catches him and brings him down, that difference is going to be an issue.

For some context here, 11 of Daukaus’s 12 wins have come by knockout or TKO. He’s never gone past the second round in his nine-year MMA career, and this is a five-round fight. Blaydes has TKO and decision wins on his resume, and went to five rounds once, back in 2020. He’ll try to shoot for takedowns and then drop heavy elbows on the ground, so Chris really has to try to circle the cage and use his maneuverability while looking for the right time to throw a power shot. That’s how Lewis took out Blaydes. Go figure, both guys had four-fight win streaks that were broken by Lewis.

This is an interesting position for Chris, who is getting another highly-ranked guy right after losing to another. If he wins, he’s probably jumping Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik for a top-six spot. If he loses, who knows? Probably hovering outside the top ten with Marcin Tybura and Sergei Pavlovich. He fights at a lesser weight than most heavyweights, but the next division down is 205 pounds, so dropping to light heavyweight might not be feasible. There’s definitely a lot riding on this fight for Chris.