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UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus free betting picks

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Ben Fowlkes

MMA Expert

Co-Main Event Podcast. Previously: The Athletic, USA Today & Sports Illustrated.

Blaydes vs Daukaus predictions

Curtis Blaydes vs Chris DaukausPreview
WhereNationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
WhenSaturday, March 26, 7pm ET
Blaydes odds-380
Daukaus odds+320
TVESPN+

The heavyweights are back in the spotlight on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card in Columbus, OH, and this time it’s the suffocating wrestling of Curtis Blaydes against the smooth striking of Chris Daukaus.

Blaydes enters this fight as a considerable favorite, and it’s not hard to see why. He’s been in the UFC for nearly six years now, mixing it up with some of the best fighters in the heavyweight class, and so far only two men have managed to beat him – current heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou (who did it twice), and knockout artist extraordinaire Derrick Lewis, who also iced Daukaus just a few months ago. This high level experience is what makes Curtis Blaydes' record so respectable.

Is it a good idea for Daukaus to jump back into the deep waters of the division so soon after being violently separated from his consciousness by Lewis? Probably not. But against Blaydes he faces a very different type of challenge, and it’s one we haven’t seen Daukaus confront too much in the UFC so far.

Blaydes isn’t exactly what you’d call one-dimensional, but he knows who he is as a fighter. He wants to back you up against the fence, take you down, drape his weight all over you as you labor to stand, then do it all over again until you’re so exhausted you can barely lift your arms to protect your face. He’s very good at this, and he knows it. Blaydes will stand and strike when he needs to, but he doesn’t take unnecessary risks and he’s not easy to hit cleanly. He’s a wrestler first and everything else second.

Daukaus has it all to do

It’s possible that Daukaus has the tools to deal with that, but we haven’t seen it in the UFC. He’s been getting by so far on speed and athleticism, both of which you need when you’re a 230-pound heavyweight. He has a smooth, easy striking style, but isn’t the one-punch threat that guys like Lewis or Ngannou are. Daukaus is almost certainly going to get taken down at least once or twice, at which point he’ll need to prove that he can get back up on his own and get the separation he needs in order to put his own offense to work. I don’t like his chances of doing either of those things.

The best chance Daukaus has is if he can catch Blaydes early, before Blaydes has a chance to find his rhythm. Even then, he’ll probably need to finish via accumulation of blows rather than one massive knockout shot, which would give the savvy and experienced Blaydes time to regroup and recover. Blaydes isn’t really known as a finisher, but here he has five rounds to work against a smaller man who will likely find himself on his back and eating elbows for much of the fight. Factor in Daukaus’ quick turnaround after a brutal knockout loss and I’d say there’s a good chance Blaydes gets him out there before the 25 minutes are up.

Blaydes vs Daukaus free betting pick

Blaydes inside the distance (-125 on DraftKings)

UFC Fight Night card: Blaydes vs Daukaus

Curtis Blaydes vs Chris Daukaus headlines an action packed night of UFC in Ohio. The full UFC fight night card can be seen below.

Main card

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus

  • Askar Askarov vs. Kai Kara France

  • Matt Brown vs. Bryan Barberena

  • Nate Landwehr vs. Lerone Murphy

  • Joanne Wood vs. Alexa Grasso

UFC Fight Night prelims

  • Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Ribas

  • Tucker Lutz vs. Seungwoo Choi

  • Sara McCann vs. Karol Rosa

  • Montel Jackson vs. Batgerel Danaa

  • Matheus Nicolau vs. David Dvorak

  • Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Abus Magomedov

What time does UFC Fight Night start?

The main card for UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus kicks off at 7:00pm ET on ESPN+. The main event ringwalks are planned for 11pm ET. As ever with combat sports, these timings will depend on how long the previous fights last.

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus stream

Fight fans can stream Blaydes vs Daukaus on their laptops, phones or fire sticks using ESPN+ or BT Sport. Check out their websites for more information.

UFC bets explained

To win fight

This is the most straightforward bet you will find at UFC betting sites. Which of the fighters do you think will emerge victorious from the Octagon? Simply make your choice after studying the form and the odds available and place a wager in line with your judgment.

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