Blaydes vs Daukaus Preview

Curtis Blaydes (left) facing off against Chris Daukaus (right). Photo credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

The UFC has another heavyweight main event, as number four ranked Curtis Blaydes will take on number nine ranked Chris Daukaus. Last week’s fight night in London was the first fight night with fans since the pandemic started. This week’s fight night will be the second straight fight night with fans as they head to Columbus, Ohio. The headlining bout has massive stakes on the line. Fellow heavyweights Tai Tuivasa and Tom Aspinall are pushing for a top-three fight. The winner of this fight joins that race while the loser will be stuck in the middle of the pack. This fight night has thirteen fights on it. We’re bound for a very fun card.

The Main Event: Curtis Blaydes vs Chris Daukaus

This headlining bout gives us the classic striker vs wrestler bout. Daukaus has eleven knockouts in his career while Blaydes has landed 62 takedowns in the UFC. Blaydes has shown in the past that he does have good striking. His knockout of Junior Dos Santos is a great example. We however have not seen if Daukaus can wrestle. He trains at Martinez BJJ and is brothers to Kyle Daukaus, who has nine submission victories in his career.

Blaydes comes into this fight with a record of 15-3. He has beaten the likes of Alistair Overeem, Alexander Volkov, and Mark Hunt. He’s only lost to current champion Francis Ngannou twice and Derrick Lewis once. All of those fights ended by knockout. Daukaus comes into this fight with a record of 12-4. He has wins over Shamil Abdurakhimov and Aleksei Oleinik. Daukaus was on a five-fight knockout streak before he was defeated by Lewis in their recent bout.

Comparing their last fight weights, Blaydes was 26 pounds heavier than Daukaus. This can benefit Blaydes as he should be stronger than Daukaus. That will make getting takedowns much easier for him. However, Dauakus is known for his quick speed as a heavyweight. Add that with his already great boxing, he may be able to get to Blaydes’s chin a lot quicker.

Fight Of The Night Prediction: Matt Brown vs Bryan Barberena

Matt Brown. Photo credit: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC

If you went into the MMA dictionary and looked up the term “just bleed”, Brown and Barberena would both be the images. These two have combined for six-fight of the night bonuses, and they’ve given us many more wars. Brown holds a record of 25-18 and has won 23 of his victories by finish. Barberena is 16-8 and has won 12 of his victories by finish. 

Brown is 41 years old, yet he fights like he hasn’t aged at all. Brown has been with the UFC since 2008! Still, in his most recent bout, he produced a highlight-reel knockout against Dhiego Lima. Brown has beaten the likes of Stephen Thompson, Douglas Lima, and Diego Sanchez. Brown has also fought legendary fighters such as Donald Cerrone, Robbie Lawler, and Demian Maia. Barberena hasn’t been with the UFC as long, but he’s still been there since 2014. With Barberena it doesn’t matter who he’s against, he’s bringing their best fight out of them. He’s gone up against the best of the best in the welterweight division. This includes Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, and Vicente Luque. His bout against Luque was a war, but he’s produced bangers against Randy Brown, Darian Weeks, and Chad Laprise as well. 

We’re bound for a stand-and-bang war between these two. I would be very surprised if there isn’t some sort of bonus produced from this fight.

Performance Of The Night Prediction: Alexa Grasso

At just 28 years old, Grasso finds herself ranked ninth in the UFC flyweight rankings. Grasso holds a record of 13-3, beating the likes of Maycee Barber and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She’s also gone against some high-caliber opponents such as Carla Esparza and Tatiana Suarez. Grasso is a very skilled striker. More specifically, a great boxer.  She has the chance to prove she’s one of the best in women’s MMA when she goes against Scotland’s Joanne Wood. Wood is also a very striker. This will not only be a big test for Grasso. It will be a battle as well. Wood is talented. However, she didn’t look the greatest in her last fight. Grasso can make a big statement in this fight.

One Name To Watch (Main Card): Viacheslav Borshchev

This is a prospect I fell in love with right away on Dana White’s contender series. In that fight Borshchev connected with a left hook that left his opponent unconscious! Then in his next fight, his UFC debut, he defeated Dakota Bush by nailing a punch to the liver and some vicious ground and pound. Nicknamed “Slava Claus”, Borshchev is 6-1 and has won five of his fights by knockout. He has a tough challenge this fight night against Marc Diakiese. Diakiese fights just like Borshchev. However, he is far more experienced. A big-time performance from Borshchev would say a lot about his caliber.

One Name To Watch (Prelims): Manon Fiorot

Photo credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

First off, this fight shouldn’t be on the prelims. But back to the fight. When it comes to women’s MMA, Fiorot is one of the most feared and skilled prospects. She is currently ranked 13th in the flyweight division. This weekend she goes against the number four ranked Jennifer Maia, yet Fiorot walks into this fight as a -450 favorite! The France native holds a record of 8-1 with six of her fights ending by knockout. Her striking is unreal. She has unreal kicks and great combos. If Fiorot were to win, she would skyrocket up the rankings and would create some intriguing matchups. 

Predictions

Predictions:

Last Week: 8-4

All Time: 25-14

Main Card

Chris Daukaus defeats Curtis Blaydes

Alexa Grasso defeats Joanne Wood

Matt Brown defeats Bryan Barberena

Askar Askarov defeats Kai Kara-France

Ilir Latifi defeats Aleksei Oleinik

Viacheslav Borschev defeats Marc Diakiese

Prelims

Neil Magny defeats Max Griffin

Karol Rosa defeats Sara McMann 

Chris Gutierrez defeats Danaa Batgerel

Aliaskhab Khizriev defeats Denis Tiuliulin

Manon Fiorot defeats Jennifer Maia 

Matheus Nicolau defeats David Dvorak 

Bruno Souza defeats Luis Saldana

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