UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes has sent recent opponent Chris Daukaus some advice following their collision at UFC Columbus.
In the first US-held UFC Fight Night in a packed-out arena since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic this past weekend, Blaydes and Daukaus locked horns inside Columbus’ Nationwide Arena.
Having fallen short in his first top-five assignment last December, a challenge that was halted thanks to a brutal Derrick Lewis knockout, many regarded an attempt to rebound against an opponent like Blaydes as an uphill battle for the Philadelphian, something that proved to be the case on fight night.
After making it clear he was willing to stand and trade with Daukaus on the feet in the opening round, “Razor” Blaydes turned the heat up in the second, dropping the #9-ranked heavyweight with a thunderous right hand.
Following some vicious ground and pound, something Blaydes’ clash with Alistair Overeem showed is a specialty of his, the main event contest was over.
Daukaus, who was highly touted in 2021 following four victories over Parker Porter, Rodrigo Nascimento, Aleksei Oleinik, and Shamil Abdurakhimov, now sits on a two-fight skid and with back-to-back failed attempts at breaking into the heavyweight elite.
While many have suggested a move to lower-level opposition next time out, Blaydes has a different suggestion for the latest name added to his win column.
Curtis Blaydes: “Not Everyone’s A Heavyweight”
During his appearance at the UFC Columbus post-fight press conference, Blaydes was asked whether he felt the power and speed Daukaus became known for during his 4-0 start in the promotion.
In response, the perennial contender suggested the former police officer‘s fighting talents would translate better at 205 pounds.
“I think, honestly, no shade, he probably should drop down to light heavyweight. Just, not everyone’s a heavyweight,” suggested Blaydes. “It’s okay. Just cause you weigh 245 (pounds), does not mean you’re a heavyweight. So, yeah, I think he should drop down… I don’t think (he can beat the top guys in the division). And that’s no shade. He’s skilled, but he’s not—you have to be big, you have to be strong. That’s like, a prerequisite. That’s like a flyweight who’s not fast, that doesn’t work.”
Having weighed in at 243 pounds for this past weekend’s event, it would likely take some significant changes for Daukaus to transition, but it certainly isn’t out of the question, and with the increasing knowledge and nutritionists at the UFC Performance Institute, the help would be there.
On the flip side, Daukaus’ two losses came against the promotion’s leading KO artist and one of the top heavyweight contenders. The 32-year-old may look to avoid any knee-jerk reactions in the coming weeks and months, especially given his form prior to the large step-up in competition.
Do you agree with Curtis Blaydes? Should Chris Daukaus drop to light heavyweight?