- Date & Location: Saturday, December 18 @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Time: Prelims (4:00 p.m. ET), Main Card (7:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: ESPN+
An important heavyweight matchup headlines the UFC Vegas 45 fight card, which takes place on Saturday, December 18 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. That bout features former UFC heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus.
Lewis is coming off a third-round knockout loss to Ciryl Gane. That bout determined the interim UFC heavyweight champion. Daukaus knocked out Shamil Abdurakhimov in his last outing. Lewis is the No. 3 ranked fighter in the official UFC heavyweight rankings, Daukaus is ranked at No. 7.
Lewis vs Daukaus Odds
Lewis vs. Daukaus prediction and pick:
This matchup is a huge test for Daukaus. If you look at the four opponents who he’s faced in the UFC, none compare in name recognition nor resume to Lewis. Despite that, Daukaus is favored. I understand that thinking, but I disagree with that thinking.
Lewis has been headlining UFC events since 2016, which means he’s been facing top-level competition since 2016. This is the first big fight of Daukaus’ career. I understand he has four UFC knockouts and I know he has three “Performance of the Night” bonuses to his name, but I don’t think those things mean all that much against an accomplished fighter like Lewis.
Pick: Derrick Lewis to win.
Betting value with Lewis
This is a heavyweight fight between two men who have combined for 31 career knockout wins. WIth that, I think the value in this fight is with Lewis to win and after that method of victory and over/under as far as round. In short, I think this fight ends in a knockout and I believe Lewis will get that knockout, but I can also see the fight going the other way by knockout as well. I don’t see this one going past the third round.
Prediction: Derrick Lewis via knockout.
Fight Stats: Lewis vs Daukaus
|Derrick Lewis||Category||Chris Daukaus|
|2.49||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||9.03|
|2.48||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.40|
|0.49||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.00|
|0.0||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.0|
Who has the edge?
Daukaus is the faster fighter and he an astonishing output for a heavyweight at 9.03 significant strikes landed per minute, but he absorbs 3.40 significant strikes per minute and all it takes is one Derrick Lewis punch to end a fight and Lewis can land that punch when he’s fresh or when he’s exhausted. He packs that kind of power. I don’t think Daukaus has dealt with the power of a fighter like Lewis and I think his tendency to approach with his hands a little too low will be the reason he ends up with a knockout loss in this scrap.
What’s at stake?
A win for Daukaus will pit him into the top five in the UFC heavyweight rankings and could have him within one fight of a title shot. A Lewis win keeps him in the mix as a top-three heavyweight contender.
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