After two long years of hosting Fight Night events at the UFC Apex, Dana White and co are returning to the road on March 26, 2022.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships post-pandemic schedule was forced to the enclosed surroundings of the Apex in Las Vegas with no fans in attendance in March 2020. However, as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, the Nationwide Arena in Columbus will become the first American venue to host a highly stacked fight card.
Blaydes vs Daukaus Early Prediction & Betting Odds
Join as us we preview the main event bout between Chicago’s finest, Curtis Blaydes, and his opponent Chris Daukaus. In addition, we’ll cover the standout UFC betting odds that could be worth an early look.
Curtis Blaydes (15-3-0, 9 KOs, 1 Submission)
Long destined and tipped to be a future heavyweight champion, I believe it’s safe to say that the success of Curtis Blaydes’ career has been damaged by the presence of Francis Ngannou. Having fought the current heavyweight champion on two occasions and losing both meetings outside of Francis, Blaydes has only suffered defeat to one other fighter (Derrick Lewis) during his career.
Unfortunately, Blaydes kryptonite came in the shape of knockout artists Ngannou and Lewis, ultimately stalling the young heavyweight’s title aspirations. However, the good news is that Blaydes is extremely young for a heavyweight (31-years-old), as the average retiring age usually takes heavyweights into their forties.
Outside of his brutal losses to the most significant knockout artists on the roster, Blaydes has delivered near-perfect performances, often utilizing an elite-level wrestling offense.
Blaydes’ senior year in wrestling finished with a 44-0 record, eventually winning the NJCAA National Championship as a redshirt sophomore in college. Following his decorated wrestling tenure at Northern Illinois University, the success honed on the amateur MMA scene caused the Chicago native to leave school and entirely focus on his mixed martial arts career.
After five professional bouts and five consecutive knockouts, the UFC showed interest. Five years following his promotional debut, Blaydes is a household name with a 10-3 record (UFC).
Blaydes vs. Daukaus Prediction & Betting Odds
Blaydes will meet a dangerous up-and-comer in Chris Daukaus (12-4-0, 10 KOs, 1 submission ) – who was recently riding a 4-fight win streak in the UFC until Derrick Lewis blemished his success. The Philadelphia born ex-police officer in Daukaus has burst into the top-15 rankings behind a well-diverse skillset he’s garnered with the Martinez BJJ fight team.
With that said, it’s difficult to ignore the athleticism of Blaydes, as he often owns a speed, agility, and grappling advantage over his opponents. Blaydes will realize Daukaus possesses a BJJ black belt, but I can’t envision this will deter him from utilizing the elite grappling he’s most known for.
Chicago locals are guaranteed to support their hometown boy as Illinois BetMGM will undoubtedly cause the current line to fluctuate, and the bookmaker’s current odds are already heavily favouring Blaydes at -333.
The current betting line shows a 76% probability in favor of Blaydes. And despite the success, Daukaus has delivered inside the octagon thus far, overlooking Blaydes’ broader experience and dominant wrestling offense would be foolish – I expect the five-round bout won’t surpass the 4th as the Chicago boy stops Daukaus inside the distance.
Value: UFC Early Betting Lines Elsewhere on the Card
Chicago stand-up, alongside Blaydes on the Fight Night: Columbus event, will be his Elevation Fight Teammate and another local Illinois MMA legend in Neil Magny.
Magny (25-8-0, 7 KOs, 3 submissions) could be the most underrated welterweight competitor of this decade. Joining the UFC in 2012, Magny has since tied George St-Pierre for the most decision victories in UFC welterweight history (12).
Sportsbooks aren’t doubting the 34-year-old veteran despite facing off with a Max Griffin (18-8-0, 9 KOs, 2 submissions) who’s currently riding a 3-fight win streak. The best available odds will reveal a -188 price tag on Magny, a testament to a savvy veteran who cannot be doubted.
When stepping into the octagon, Magny owns a high fight IQ; combined with his experience and the level of competition he’s faced, I side with the bookmakers positioning him as a betting favorite.