Chris Daukaus, the 31-year-old heavyweight, enters his Saturday fight with a four-fight win streak. Professionally, Daukaus is 11-3 with ten knockout wins and one decision. He’s never seen the judges’ scorecard in a loss; instead, he’s been knocked out twice and submitted once.
Shamil Abdurakhimov hasn’t fought since 2019 when he lost to top-ranked heavyweight, Blaydes, by TKO. Professionally, the 30-year-old Russian fighter is 20-5. His wins are split among 9 knockouts, 4 submissions, and 7 decisions. In losses, Abdurakhimov has 3 knockouts, 1 submission, and 1 decision.
Daukaus vs. Abdurakhimov betting odds
Daukaus is a 2-to-1 favorite over Abdurakhimov who returns a little better than a 1.5 with a win.
Daukaus vs. Abdurakhimov breakdown
Daukaus is either very talented, has had ideal matchups, or both. This is because he has looked great in his three UFC fights, ending all three in less than 7:15 while dominating the entire time. He is a talented and aggressive boxer who, if he continues to stay on the lighter side of the heavyweight scale, often has the speed advantage without sacrificing the power. However, he faced a less than talented striker in Porter and back-to-back older and grapple-focused fighters after. For someone with Daukaus’ hand speed, technical striking, footwork, and power, these matchups were tailor-made. Regardless, Daukaus can only fight who he is given and he showed out in three straight. He’s averaging an unheard of 11.78 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 3.22. That would be an impressive output for a flyweight, let alone a 240-pound powerhouse. Additionally, despite facing two seasoned grapplers, Daukaus still has a 100% takedown defense. In short, in his three UFC fights, he has looked excellent.
Abdurakhimov is another seasoned grappler who could look to test Daukaus’ takedown defense. Abdurakhimov averages 1.2 takedowns per fight; but, in his most recent win, didn’t finish any of his 3 attempts. Instead, when he faced another heavy-handed striker in Tybura, Abdurakhimov was able to outland; and, eventually, knock out his opponent. Abdurakhimov has a neutral strike differential, lands with 44% accuracy, and only secures takedowns at a 24% clip. However, he has something the rest of Daukaus’ UFC opponents really didn’t- heavyweight power. Even at 40 years old, Abdurakhimov can get the finish on the feet.
Daukaus vs. Abdurakhimov prediction
Daukaus will likely have to be more cautious in this fight. Unlike his previous fights where Daukaus had the clear edge in power and speed, in this matchup, Abdurakhimov should be able to match the power.
While that creates an ideal striker vs. striker matchup for Daukaus, the one-shot knockout is a possible path to victory for Abdurakhimov. That being said, I’ve been impressed by Daukaus, specifically in his hand speed and ability to cut angles to open up big shots.
Since he won’t have to worry about a takedown threat as much, I anticipate Daukaus moving forward more, landing more, and continuing his UFC success.
Prediction: Chris Daukaus to win by KO
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.