Chris Daukaus couldn’t have imagined he would be fighting the 10th-ranked guy in the world just six months after his UFC debut.
Daukaus stepped up on short notice at UFC 252 in August and scored a first-round TKO win over Parker Porter. He followed that up with a 45-second TKO win over Rodrigo Nascimento in October and is now set to face Alexey Oleynik at UFC Vegas 19, which is an opponent he didn’t think he’d face in his third UFC appearance.
“No, this is something we weren’t expecting but is something we are going to take full advantage of,” Daukaus said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com.
In the lead-up to the fight, many have pegged this as a striker vs. grappler matchup. Daukaus understands it but says he isn’t scared of going to the ground with Oleynik.
“It is the old striker vs grappler thing. But, people haven’t seen my grappling, I don’t want to show it as I’d rather strike in this fight obviously because he is so dangerous,” Daukaus explained. “It is something we aren’t scared of, but you won’t see me pulling guard on this guy. If he decides to pull guard, I will be fine on the ground.”
Although Chris Daukaus says he would be fine on the ground with the Russian, he knows the gameplan is to keep it standing.
If Daukaus can keep it standing, he expects to eventually land the knockout punch that puts Oleynik away. However, he is expecting to stuff a few takedowns before that.
“I’ve been saying in the past couple of fights that people are going to try and close the distance on me,” Daukaus said. “Alexey can close the gap and keep me against the cage and can take me down. But, it is all about the gameplan and being on point that night. Yeah, I think we will touch gloves, I hit him a few times and hopefully, he falls down. If he doesn’t, I’ll defend the takedown and we will work for a finish.”
If Chris Daukaus beats Oleynik on Saturday night he expects to become a top-10 heavyweight and hopefully ends the year in a number one contender bout.
“You keep what you kill. I take out the number 10 guy, there is no reason why I shouldn’t be 10. No disrespect to 11-15, but I take out the 10th ranked guy, I take his spot,” Daukaus concluded.
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