UFC heavyweight contender Chris Daukaus isn’t lacking confidence heading into his first main event against Derrick Lewis on Dec. 18.

Daukaus is one of the hottest heavyweights in the UFC, with five straight wins including most recently a TKO victory over Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC 266. This is a massive opportunity for Daukaus to earn a big name on his resume and possibly etch his name into the title picture.

But Daukaus doesn’t believe that Lewis is anything he hasn’t faced before, outside of the signature power in his right hand. During a recent interview with LowKickMMA’s James Lynch, Daukaus explained what the key is to earn a big win next month.

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“I just feel like I’m going to be quicker than Derrick,” Daukaus said. “Just avoid that big right hand of his, make him work, and not let him dictate the pace. I don’t see this fight going any other way other than me getting my hand raised. I think I’m better everywhere.”

Daukaus made his UFC debut against Parker Porter at UFC 252, earning a TKO win in the first round. Before he signed with the UFC, he had success on the regional circuit in promotions such as Cage Fury and Ring of Combat.

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Lewis is looking for a big win against an up-and-comer in Daukaus next month. He’ll make his return to the octagon for the first time since losing the interim heavyweight title to Ciryl Gane at UFC 265. Lewis was originally expected to face Francis Ngannou before an interim title bout was booked.

The Daukaus/Lewis matchup is particularly interesting because both men aren’t afraid to let punches fly inside the cage. The UFC Fight Night main event is expected to be an exciting fight between two of the most electric strikers in the heavyweight division.

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What is your prediction for Chris Daukaus vs. Derrick Lewis?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.