Chris Daukaus didn’t expect that he would be fighting Shamil Abdurakhimov.
Daukaus, who joined the UFC in August of 2020, is already 3-0 in the promotion with three first-round knockouts. After his last win over Aleksei Oleinik in February, he expected he would get another ranked opponent next, and was unsure if it would be in the top-10.
Yet, at UFC Vegas 33, Daukaus will fight the seventh-ranked heavyweight in Abdurkahimov which caught him by surprise.
“I was kind of taken back at who it was. Not at his ranking or his ability, but he hasn’t fought in a while,” Daukaus said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I had heard he was trying to fight earlier this year but he had some visa issues. I was a little apprehensive of I don’t want to put in a full camp and then have those things pop up again.”
Although Abdurakhimov has been in the UFC since 2015, Daukaus says it’s been hard to prepare for him. The Russian has been out of action since September of 2019 and Daukaus isn’t sure what he has been working on. With that, the American says he’s just preparing to face the best Abdurakhimov there has been.
“That is the biggest thing. In his time off, you don’t really know what type of improvements he has made,” Daukaus said. “I’m not going to assume what type of improvements he has made, but I’m going to assume that he’s made improvements because he’s a world-class guy and is ranked seventh in the world. He comes from a great team in Dagestan, Russia.”
Entering the fight, Chris Daukaus knows many expect him to get another first-round stoppage. However, he says he can’t rush anything as Shamil Abdurakhimov is very dangerous.
Ultimately, Daukaus is confident he will eventually find the stoppage but is prepared to go 15 minutes. Yet, the Philly police officer says fans shouldn’t be surprised to see him take the fight to the mat as he believes he has a clear advantage there.
“I’m always improving all the aspects of my game. If we get tied up, I might take him down and finish him there,” Daukaus said. “It really is seeing what happens in the cage… I don’t get paid by the minute in there, if I get the first-round finish I get the first-round finish. It is what it is, it’s just something I’m super comfortable with. I find the finish but if he can stop it, I’m comfortable going 15 minutes.”
If Daukaus does finish Abdurakhimov, it would be the biggest win of his career. It would propel him into the top-five and he hopes he could get a top-five next, or a big name if he doesn’t.
“At this point in my career, whether it’s a ranked guy or a big-name I’m down for either one. It will definitely propel me that much further. Look at who he has lost to, it’s all the big-name guys in the division,” Daukaus concluded. “I hope to add my name to that list… This year I kind of want to get in three or four fights in this year. This will be number two, so hopefully, I get a quick turnaround after this fight, maybe September, October, and possibly one in December. Barring any kind of injuries, hopefully, it is all works out.”
Do you think Chris Daukaus will finish Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC Vegas 33?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM