UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick, Prediction: Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus Betting Preview (March 26)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Curtis Blaydes.
- Two explosive Heavweights, Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus, will headline Saturday's UFC Fight Night card.
- Blaydes (-400 odds) is the heavy favorite and looking to put together another win streak, while Daukaus looks to bounce back after a loss.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down how he's betting this matchup below.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus Odds
On Saturday, the UFC will return to Columbus, Ohio, with a 13-fight card featuring a Heavyweight Main Event between No. 4 ranked contender Curtis Blaydes and No. 9 ranked Chris Daukaus.
Blaydes (15-3) is entrenched in the top half of the Heavyweight rankings, but he has been unable to break through to title contention, thanks to three combined knockout losses at the hands of Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis.
Daukaus (12-4) hopes to rebound from his first UFC setback — a knockout loss to Lewis last December — after scoring four consecutive knockout victories to start his promotional run.
Is Saturday’s fight too quick of a turnaround — and too complex a stylistic matchup — for Daukaus to overcome? Or can the Philadelphia native re-assert his status as one of the top prospects in the Heavyweight division?
Tale of the Tape
|Record||15-3-0 (1 NC)||12-4-0|
|Avg. Fight Time||10:35||3:25|
|Weight (pounds)||259 lbs.||243 lbs.|
|Date of birth||2/18/91||9/25/89|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.44||7.71|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||1.65||3.51|
|Take Down Avg.||6.27||0.0|
Blaydes will be both the bigger (16 pounds heavier) and the longer (4-inch reach advantage) fighter in the cage, which should help him to keep Daukaus at a distance until he’s ready to shoot in for takedowns.
Daukaus hasn’t faced a wrestling threat in the UFC, and his fights have also ended quickly, so we don’t have much recent information on either his defensive grappling or his gas tank.
That said, Daukaus showed concerns in both areas on the regional scene; and given the weight discrepancy, he may have difficulty getting back to his feet if Blaydes can put him on the mat.
However, Daukaus is a high-level jiu-jitsu practitioner, and I suspect he can stay safe on his back, at a minimum. Moreover, Blaydes doesn’t necessarily offer vicious ground and pound or a deadly submission game — he’s good at taking his opponents down and controlling them or completing mat returns when they can get back to their feet.
On the feet, Daukaus is a clean boxer with fast hands and good power, but he doesn’t necessarily possess the Lewis or Ngannou elite tier power that has folded Blaydes in the past; he’s likely a cut below.
Blaydes isn’t necessarily the most durable Heavyweight, but neither is Daukaus. And Blaydes can keep up in the striking exchanges; he dominated Derrick Lewis at range (26-5 in Round 1) before shooting a reckless takedown attempt.
Typically, Blaydes is very aware defensively (59% striking defensive). Still, he has a much clearer path through his grappling, either by pushing Daukaus up against the cage or by using his wrestling to generate takedowns.
From there, we get our answers about Daukaus’s cardio, scrambling, and survivability, particularly after the first round or two of the fight.
While I didn’t love Blaydes’ tentativeness in his recent matchup with Jairzinho Rozenstruik, he may have an easier go of it here against a faster but slightly less powerful hitter in Daukaus.
It’s challenging to envision Daukaus winning enough minutes in this fight to secure a decision, even if he survives that long; his win condition is weighted much more heavily towards a finish.
Blaydes vs. Daukaus Pick
I projected Curtis Blaydes as a 79.4% favorite (-386 implied odds) in this fight, and I projected the fight to end inside the distance 70% of the time (-235 implied).
As a result, I don’t see value on either side of the moneyline or the total. I initially considered playing Blaydes’ late-round props (3, 4, 5), but I wanted juicier odds to make those dart throws.
Instead, I parlayed Blaydes’ moneyline and the Over 1.5 Rounds down to -115 at Caesars Sportsbook — one of the few books that will let you parlay those options on the same fight.
Alternatively, you could bet the Blaydes and Over 2.5 Rounds prop (+126) at PointsBet.
I expect Blaydes to dominate with his wrestling, drag Daukaus to deep waters, and either finish him late or secure a wide decision.
The Pick: Parlay (-115): Curtis Blaydes and Over 1.5 Rounds (Caesars Sportsbook)