This weekend marks the final UFC event of 2021, as the promotion returns to its Las Vegas home for UFC Fight Night: Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus.
This UFC Fight Night looks like a pretty strong card overall, with some excellent bouts and some dangerous contenders all in action.
So, with plenty to pique viewers’ interest, this should be a solid, though perhaps unspectacular, way for the promotion to close out 2021.
Here are the predicted results for UFC Fight Night: Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus.
#1. UFC heavyweight division: Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus
After his loss to Ciryl Gane at UFC 265 in August, it’s probably safe to say that Derrick Lewis’ hopes of becoming UFC heavyweight champion have faded.
However, “The Black Beast” remains one of the most dangerous fighters in the division, and with this booking, it appears the UFC intends to make him a top-tier gatekeeper. If he beats Lewis, a fighter could be worthy of entering title contention.
So can Chris Daukaus be that fighter or will he become another victim of Lewis’ brutal punching power?
Daukaus made his UFC debut last August without making much noise, but has since followed in the footsteps of fighters like Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt in terms of his skills, despite his poor fitness. True, Daukaus is not a muscular man, but he is surprisingly fast for a man of his size, has good technical punches and hits hard. This is evidenced by the fact that all four of his UFC wins have been by KO or TKO.
The Philadelphia native hasn’t fought weaklings either, with his last two wins coming over Aleksei Oleinik and Shamil Abdurakhimov, both of whom are ranked in the top 15.
This is an interesting bout for several reasons. First, Lewis, despite his dangerous power, has never been the most durable fighter in the UFC heavyweight division. The “Black Beast” suffered a knockout loss to Gane in August, but has also been stopped previously by the likes of Hunt and Shawn Jordan. Even when he doesn’t lose, he seems to get hurt in all of his fights.
However, despite that, Daukaus can’t be expected to walk all over him. Although his wins over Oleinik and Abdurakhimov are impressive, it’s hard to shake off the idea that he’s only beaten less-than-dynamic foes, which makes him look much faster than he really is.
Lewis, on the other hand, is apparently fast for a big man. He will also be by far the toughest opponent Daukaus has faced in his MMA career.
Daukaus could prove he’s a real contender and could knock Lewis out, but it’s hard not to go with the more proven fighter here, especially since Daukaus won’t be used to fighting someone this fast. So the pick is Lewis by KO.