Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Chris Daukaus UFC 266 Odds, Pick & Prediction (Saturday, September 25)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured (L-R): Shamil Abdurakhimov and Chris Daukaus.
- The first of two heavyweight fights on the UFC 266 card features Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Chris Daukaus.
- Daukaus enters the fight as a -200 favorite and the over/under is set at 1.5 rounds.
- Sean Zerillo explains why he sees value in a quick finish in this heavyweight matchup.
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Chris Daukaus Odds
Two top-10 heavyweight contenders will go head-to-head at UFC 266 when Shamil Abdurakhimov and Chris Daukaus square off Saturday. Below I preview the betting odds and break down this matchup. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||10:43||2:23|
|Weight (pounds)||235 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Date of birth||9/2/81||9/25/89|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.45||11.78|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.45||3.22|
|Take Down Avg||1.23||0.0|
The UFC is doing its best to hype up Daukaus — who has slick boxing and owns a BJJ black belt — by feeding him name-brand opponents to pad his highlight reel.
Abdurakhimov is in a relatively similar spot to his last opponent — Aleksei Oleinik — as a slow, 40-year-old heavyweight at an extreme athletic disadvantage.
The Dagestani hasn’t competed since September 2019 — a knockout loss against Curtis Blaydes — and he’s pulled out of five fights in the interim, which isn’t a great look coming into this fight.
All three of his losses in the UFC have come by knockout, while Daukaus has registered a trio of first-round finishes.
Abdurakhimov potentially offers some wrestling upside (1.23 takedowns per 15 minutes, 24% accuracy), but Daukaus is an underrated grappler in his own right. And outside of Shamil landing a giant bomb — and he does carry power in his hands — I don’t see his return to the Octagon going particularly well against a much younger and faster opponent.
The critical questions on the Daukaus side are durability and cardio. He’s been knocked out twice before on the regional scene and hasn’t been to a third-round in five years. However, Daukaus has seemingly put in a lot of work to slim his physique, which should pay dividends if this fight gets extended.
Abdurakhimov vs. Daukaus Pick
I have seen some love for Daukaus to win in Round 1 (+320 at FanDuel), but I think he can carry his power into Round 2, at least.
While I show value on the Daukaus’ moneyline (projected -232), I don’t love laying that much juice in a standup-based heavyweight fight.
Furthermore, I projected his odds to win inside the distance at -127 and I would prefer to take the reduced juice on Daukaus to secure another finish. You can play that prop up to -110.
The Pick: Chris Daukaus wins Inside the Distance (+100)