Heavyweight revelation and knockout artist Chris Daukaus is all set to light up the Octagon, one final time in 2021 in the headliner event against Derrick Lewis at the UFC Fight Night 199 on Sunday.
“I have been working on my conditioning and my tactical striking. Derrick Lewis has shown in the past that he has faded in later rounds. I think I am going to be able to outwork him and outwork a lot of heavyweights in this division,” Daukaus said as he closes in on the elite men of the division.
Coming off four consecutive wins via knockout, Daukaus is not all pomp and splendour and recognises the threat posed by “The Black Beast”. “He also throws big bombs and big punches and knocks a lot of people out. So, I have been cleaning up some of my striking to try and avoid getting hit as much. Once Derrick Lewis touches you, it is really hard to recover,” Daukaus remarked, perhaps aware that Lewis boasts of 12 knockout wins – the joint-highest in UFC history.
While Lewis’ speed and movement came under scrutiny in his loss via knockout to Ciryl Gane in an interim title fight, Daukaus has looked swift on his feet thus far, albeit against opponents in the twilight of their career. “The athleticism is definitely going to be a factor in this fight. That’s not to say Derrick is not athletic at all. He does switch kicks, flying knees. He is extremely athletic for how big he is,” the 32-year-old said.
A police officer-turned-fighter debuting in the promotion in August 2020, Daukaus has risen through the ranks in the UFC with astonishing speed. Currently placed No. 7 in the heavyweight hierarchy, he will challenge a battle-hardened Lewis in an ostensible change of guard.
“The division is an older division. It’s kind of like the old guard and us new guys…we get a couple of wins and run over some of the older guys. We are maybe getting better cards and the UFC has really pushed us because everyone likes knockouts. If you could knock people out who are heavyweight and put on exciting shows, people are going to want to see it,” Daukaus said.
However, it is still early days for Daukaus as he prefers to witness the heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane slated for January 2022 from the sidelines. “First and foremost, I am just going to enjoy that fight as a fight fan. I am really intrigued by the matchup. I really don’t think I am going to be getting a title shot after this fight. I’ll have to fight at least one more time if not two more times to get a title shot.”
Watch UFC Fight Night - Lewis vs Daukaus LIVE on SONY TEN 2 (English) and SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) channels on 19th December 2021 from 5:30 AM IST
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