Tackling Philadelphia native, Chris Daukaus in an impromptu UFC Columbus main event in two weeks’ time, perennial heavyweight contender, Curtis Blaydes has praised the boxing acumen of the contender, but insists he’ll likely find enough opportunities to land a knockout win inside just two rounds.

Blaydes, who sits as the #4 ranked heavyweight in the official division pile, rebounded from a thunderous uppercut knockout loss to Derrick Lewis back in September at UFC 266 – turning in a one-sided unanimous decision victory over heavy-hitting Suriname native, Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

Curtis Blaydes holds wins over five former or current world champions

Replacing former light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz, and the streaking, Aleksandar Rakic in the Nationwide Arena headlining tilt – Juco national champion, Blaydes headlines for the fifth time in his Octagon tenure – while Daukaus nets his second straight headliner under the promotion’s banner.

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Breaking down the stylistic matchup with the Philadelphia puncher, Blaydes pointed to the boxing ability of Daukaus as his main weapon to watch out for.

“I know he’s (Chris Daukaus) a good boxer,” Curtis Blaydes told LowKick MMA reporter, James Lynch. “He’s very orthodox, he doesn’t do a lot of crazy techniques. He believes in the basic, which is something I also believe in. I know he is also very good at Jiu-Jitsu, and I believe I’m the bigger – I’m faster, I’m more explosive. And obviously, I believe I’m the better grappler.”

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As far as a route to victory is concerned for Illinois native, Blaydes, he believes within two rounds, he will have waned enough on Daukaus enough to set up an eventual knockout win.

“I win the first two rounds, I put the pressure on him, and he has to open up,” Curtis Blaydes said. And I catch him on the feet, so I believe I get the finish.”

15-3(1) as a professional, Elevation Fight Team staple, Blaydes has only suffered other professional losses to reigning division best, Francis Ngannou – turning in notable career wins over the likes of Alexey Oleynik, Mark Hunt, Alistair Overeem, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Junior dos Santos, and Alexander Volkov. 

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In his most recent outing, Daukaus suffered his first promotional loss – finding himself on the receiving end of a knockout defeat to the aforenoted common-foe, Lewis in December during the main event of UFC Vegas 44.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.