Khalil Rountree throws a jab in the UFC (Zuffa LLC)

After three straight KO losses at heavyweight, Chris Daukaus looks to revamp his career one division down. While the skill and technical boxing of the Philadelphian has always been there, he has largely been undersized and felt the power of the more natural heavyweights, yet he is hard-pressed with yet another knockout artist in Light Heavyweight Khalil Rountree Jr.

Rountree Jr. has long been an advocate of pure Muay Thai training in MMA, having spent immense time in Thailand sharpening his world-class striking. Rountree Jr. is coming off of three straight victories, including two massive finishes via leg kick and body kick as well as a highly contested war with Dustin Jacoby.

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Betting Odds

Chris Daukaus will make his 205-pound debut as the underdog.

  • Chris Daukaus: +150 (BetUS)
  • Khalil Rountree Jr: -180 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Chris Daukaus is an orthodox fighter with good well-rounded skills but really thrives in his boxing. Although he has typically been undersized in his career, a combination of speed and punching power kept him in the game against bigger heavyweights most of his career. Opposite Rountree Jr. expect similar size, with the two being equal in height and reach within about an inch of each other. Daukaus is very good at utilizing wide whipping hooks and light footwork, in order to free up the center line and land straighter shots. He also has a great leaping left hook that follows the straight right setup. In 18 pro fights he has gone to a decision just once back in Cage Fury, adding credence to his reputation to a finish-or-be-finished fighter.

Khalil Rountree Jr. will happily oblige the contest for a knockout. He has superb Muay Thai and enough wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills to consistently redirect his opponents back into the striking contests he wants. He is a southpaw, so watch for both men’s straight cross on their own and to set up the lead hook. Rountree Jr. Often starts his fights in a more crouched stance, looking to explode out like a sprinter, but slowly raises in his stance the later the fight goes. This lower stance also serves to allow him a quick sprawl early on against better wrestlers.

Although Rountree Jr. seems always ready to throw the check right hook after being tagged, he is not so much a counterpuncher. He has far more success when he is on the lead setting up his own combinations, and when he is countering he often misses because he tends to often throw just one shot after slipping or eating a punch. On the occasion that he does look to follow back with a combination instead he tends to have a lot of success, so against Daukaus, it’s important that Rountree Jr. tries to throw two or three at a time, especially because Daukaus has such light footwork, potentially even more-so the lighter he is now.

Both men have great strikers and powerful strikers, but one of the major differences is in the Muay Thai vs Boxing bases. Rountree Jr. should have a more diverse striking arsenal that he has to use. Firstly, he has a great left low kick, although against the conventional stance he preferred outside kick is not available he does have step outside left cross to inside low kick combination. He often does wind up on shots but his low kicks seemingly have little telegraph. He should also make use of his counter elbows in close and look to clinch up whenever the opportunity presents itself to land knees from the double collar tie. In general, expect Daukaus to try and keep the fight in a long boxing range in which he can circle and bounce in and out with his jab, hooks and long cross.


This is a difficult fight in terms of value for those looking to bet. Daukaus is going down a weight class to escape the power and size disadvantage at the highest level of the UFC, but is taking on one of the scariest strikers in the 205lb division instead. Coming off of three straight knockouts, it’s fair to have Daukaus’ chin in question, although the opposition he faced could have easily KO’s anyone.

That being said, at the very least, all of this should offer a wealth of confidence for Rountree Jr., who when confident, has shown ruthless finishing instincts to match his speed and skill. At face value, Rountree Jr. via stoppage is the most likely outcome and the best bet but it is notable that the difference in value for Rountree Jr. to win and win by stoppage is only -180 to -170. Yet, again both are actually solid values, as Rountree Jr. could arguably be a fair favorite closer to -200.

Pick: Khalil Rountree Jr. to win by stoppage (-170 at BetUS)

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