UFC Fight Night 205: Blaydes vs Daukaus Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 205: Blaydes vs Daukaus Predictions & Results

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Matt Brown KOs Dhiego LIma with a peach of a right hand | UFC Fight Nigh 205 Predictions
Matt Brown KOs Dhiego LIma with a peach of a right hand | UFC Fight Nigh 205 Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 205: Main Event

Curtis Blaydes vs Chris Daukaus

Heavyweight (265)

Curtis Blaydes (15-3)

As one of the only existing Curtis Blaydes fans, it was difficult to see the man written off after Tom Aspinall’s stunning performance last weekend. While it is true that Blaydes failed to put Alexander Volkov away, almost letting the Russian back into the contest during the closing rounds, a deep submission arsenal is not part of Blaydes’ game. Rather, Razor represents one of the top wrestling threats in the Heavyweight division. You need only look at the Alistair Overeem fight to see the consequences of Blaydes’ brutal GnP.

Perhaps Derrick Lewis has caused irreparable damage to Blaydes’ stock. Some analysts are adamant that Blaydes is not championship material due to durability issues. The man has been unfortunate enough to meet N’Gannou twice and a Lewis uppercut. Blaydes has taken huge strides in his striking, to the point where his jab is one of the best weapons at 265lbs. Daukaus often bites down the gumshield as his main method of closing the distance, indicating that Blaydes will find a regular mark for his straight shots. Likewise, Daukaus hasn’t spent enough time in the octagon to be tested by a consistent wrestling threat. Unless Blaydes has fallen in love with his hands, this could be a brutally dominant opening with only conditioning troubles potentially arising in the championship rounds.

Chris Daukaus (12-4)

Chris Daukaus may be sitting on a 100% KO record in the UFC, but there the manner of those victories were increasingly less impressive as the quality of the opponent ramped up. We are yet to see Daukaus’ ground game on show in the UFC, but it is safe to assume that it is levels below that of Blaydes. No disrespect to the former cop, but Blaydes is one of the rare Heavyweights who possess both athletic and technical skills.

Daukaus’ greatest strength stems from his fast hands and short boxing combinations. While his feet can get tangled at times, Daukaus is surprisingly fleet-footed for a Heavyweight and can close the distance with surprising speed. The major issue that Daukaus meets is the inability to enter on an angle, often head-rushing in a straight line with his combinations. Mixing in more regular leg kicks were a smart addition to his game against Derrick Lewis, but as Daukaus is somewhat easy to press to the cage, he can find himself lacking the space to unleash it.

Predicted Result: Blaydes TKO Round 2

Daukaus’ greatest strength stems from his fast hands and short boxing combinations. While his feet can get tangled at times, Daukaus is surprisingly fleet-footed for a Heavyweight. The major issue that Daukaus meets is the inability to enter on an angle, often head-rushing in a straight line with his combinations. Blaydes has taken huge strides in his striking, to the point where his jab is one of the best weapons at 265lbs and will regularly stop Daukaus’ in his tracks.

As long as Blaydes hasn’t fallen in love with his hands, however, this should be a clear-cut affair. We are yet to see Daukaus’ ground game on show in the UFC, but it is safe to assume that it is levels below that of Blaydes. No disrespect to the former cop, but Blaydes is one of the rare Heavyweights who possess both athletic and technical skills. Expecting a return of Blaydes’ hellbows, similar to the Overeem performance.

Result: Blaydes def. Daukaus // TKO (punches) Round 2 0:17

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Curtis Blaydes' hellbows are a scary weapon | UFC Fight Night 205 Predictions
Curtis Blaydes’ hellbows are a scary weapon | UFC Fight Night 205 Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 205: Co-Main Event

Joanne Wood vs Alexa GRasso

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Joanne Wood (15-7)

Is it time to write off Joanne Wood? The Scotswoman has always been a win one-lose one fighter, but Wood looked well behind the pace against Taila Santos. Granted, the heavy-handed Muay Thai fighter was in large part out-muscled in Santos’ ideal fight, but she looked well off the pace from the opening pace. Submission aside, Wood is a freakishly durable fighter – which is ideal as she is easily pressured. If Grasso cannot maintain a consistent pace throughout the three rounds, Wood will plug away with kicks and jabs while is a major threat with knees in the clinch.

Alexa Grasso (13-3)

Stylistically, this should be a cakewalk for Grasso. The pressure-volume boxer is designed to keep Wood pressed to the cage and unable to unleash her kicking game. With a gas tank that has never shown any signs of trouble, the Mexican can fight her ideal game against a weathered veteran. Although Grasso’s competition at Flyweight has been lukewarm at best, the extra weight seems to sit well on Grasso as she comfortably out-wrestled Barber.

Predicted Result: Grasso Decision

Stylistically, this should be a cakewalk for Grasso. The pressure-volume boxer is designed to keep Wood pressed to the cage and unable to unleash her kicking game. With a gas tank that has never shown any signs of trouble, the Mexican can fight her ideal game against a weathered veteran. It would be foolhardy to totally write off the Scotswoman, Wood has a knack of pulling back late into fights and will always prove a huge threat in the clinch, but it seems like Wood has regressed under her new coach.

Result: Grasso def. Wood // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1 3:57

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Joanne Wood looked well behind the pace last time out against Taila Santos | UFC Fight Night 205 Predictions
Joanne Wood looked well behind the pace last time out against Taila Santos | UFC Fight Night 205 Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 205: Main Card

Matt Brown vs Bryan Barberena

Welterweight (170)

Matt Brown (23-18)

After retirement should have been at the forefront of Matt Brown’s mind following his loss to Carlos Condit, The Immortal sparked out Dhiego Lima with a ferocious right hand. Brown’s twilight is well and truly on, evidenced by his inability to maintain a top pace for longer than a couple of minutes, but he can still produce a piece of magic. Moreover, Brown may have been starched by Miguel Baeza, but his exceptional clinch striking was on glittering display during a competitive first round. Perhaps it is Father Time, perhaps it is the awful gas tank, but Brown is hurt far more often than he used to.

Bryan Barberena (16-8)

Bryan Barberena needed to retire after his emergency surgery back in 2020. Worryingly, Barberena’s style is designed to once again walk into a shock case of internal bleeding. Durability has long been Barberena’s famed quality, but there were worrying cracks highlighted after wars with Vicente Luque and Randy Brown. Bam Bam has never strayed away from his high pressure, hard pace style, but his body fails to deliver what the mind desires.

Predicted Result: Barberena Decision

An incredibly sad fight between two fighters who have endured brutal careers and continue to fall off an athletic cliff. Brown remains a wizard in the clinch (as seen against Miguel Baeza) and has the potential to pull off a moment of magic (i.e. Dhiego Lima) but The Immortal can’t sustain a solid pace beyond a couple of minutes. Durability issues likely stem from the hampered gas tank, but even with Barberena’s worrying injuries, it is safer to back Barberena clutching an ugly decision over a thoroughly weathered Brown.

Result: Barberena def. Brown // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Askar Askarov vs Kai Kara-France

Flyweight (125)

Askar Askarov (14-0-1)

The real main event of the Fight Night card. Dana really does hate the Flyweight division, eh? Askarov is undefeated and has scalps over Alexandre Pantoja, Joseph Benavidez and Tim Elliot. The only thing that the Russian is missing is the submission streak that defined his run at ACB. Askarov isn’t the sharpest striker, but it is functional enough to create opportunities to unleash his gruelling, chain-wrestling game. Askarov’s preference for controlling opponents on the mat may not put bums on seats but it has seen the Russian man-handle some of the top names at Flyweight. Kara-France’s huge vulnerability to powerful grapplers, and a tendency to brawl on the inside, Askarov will have ample opportunity to wrestle.

Kai Kara-France (23-9)

Two first-round knockouts in the past two fights has seen Kara-France’s stock skyrocket. Much like Usman’s run as Welterweight champ, many analysts appear to have forgotten the long decision streak that the Kiwi rode from 2018 to 2020. Kara-France possesses heavy hands and has a fantastic eye for short counters during ‘wild back-and-forth’ sequences, but he lacks a consistent outside threat. Ideally, Kara-France would keep Askarov at range and deny the Russian access to his grappling toolbox. Unfortunately, as seen against Rogerio Bontorin, Kara-France has a knack for offering his backup – an opportunity that Askarov will refuse to let slide.

Predicted Result: Askarov Submission Round 2

The real main event of Fight Night 205. Askarov isn’t the sharpest striker, but it is functional enough to create opportunities to unleash his gruelling, chain-wrestling game. Kara-France possesses heavy hands and has a fantastic eye for short counters during ‘wild back-and-forth’ sequences, but he lacks a consistent outside threat. Without the ability to keep Askarov at range, the Kiwi’s knack for surrendering his back will provide an opportunity that Askarov will refuse to let slide.

Result: Kara-France def. Askarov // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Aleksei Oleinik vs Ilir Latifi

Heavyweight (205)

Aleksei Oleinik (59-16-1)

Unironically, this will be a fun fight while it lasts. A circus show fight between one of the longest-reigning contenders at Heavyweight against a stubby Swedish meatball. Despite his age, Oleinik starts his fights extremely fast and hard on the feet. Never the strongest striker, Oleinik lacks the firepower to worry opponents, but the Russian often opts to create disarray through which he can take the fight to the mat. Oleinik may own one of the most diverse submission games, but the litany of Ezekiel chokes highlights the weakness of Heavyweight grappling as a whole.

Ilir Latifi (15-8)

The Sledgehammer is thirty-eight before anyone stands on their soapbox and attempt to argue this is a legally sanctioned murder. Latifi has so far looked dreadful at Heavyweight, scraping a split decision over Tanner Boser while exhaustingly losing an ugly, disputed decision to Derrick Lewis. A powerful wrestler, Latifi will likely deny Oleinik top control throughout the contest and limit the submission threats from the crafty Russian. There is a stiffness to every area of Latifi’s game, but Oleinik’s durability and conditioning issues are too glaring to overlook.

Predicted Result: Latifi TKO Round 2

A powerful wrestler, Latifi will likely deny Oleinik top control throughout the contest and limit the submission threats from the crafty Russian. Oleinik may own one of the most diverse submission games, but the litany of Ezekiel chokes highlights the weakness of Heavyweight grappling as a whole. There is a stiffness to every area of Latifi’s game, but Oleinik’s durability and conditioning issues are too glaring to overlook.

Result: FIGHT CANCELLED (Latifi Illness)

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Marc Diakiese vs Viacheslav Borshchev

Lightweight (155)

Marc Diakiese (14-5)

Not the time to write off Marc Diakese. Sure, the Brit is sitting on an 0-2 slide, but his ability to mix it with the top of the division was evidenced by his grit to find the final bell against Rafael Fiziev. Diakiese remains one of the top natural athletes in the sport, yet his wishy-washy use of solid wrestling chops and an increasingly educated striking approach has seen the loss of the ‘threat of the unknown’. Still, Diakiese can dig deep and adapt well late into contests and question Borschev.

Viacheslav Borshchev (6-1)

Slava Claus is taking a huge leap in quality of opposition. While the body shot KO over Dakota Bush helped fire the hype behind Borshchev, issues with flakey TDD once again reared its ugly head. Borshchev may have shown far more confident scrambles, but Diakiese is a vastly underrated wrestler. Moreover, Diakiese’s disgusting leg kicks could well pick away at Borshchev who can linger on the outside.

Predicted Result: Diakiese Decision

While the body shot KO over Dakota Bush helped fire the hype behind Borshchev, issues with flakey TDD once again reared its ugly head. Borshchev may have shown far more confident scrambles, but Diakiese is a vastly underrated wrestler. Diakiese’s mentality and confidence troubles could see Slava Claus laying down an early gauntlet that the Brit fails to rise to, but his ability to adapt well late into contests is a vastly more proven quantity.

Result: Diakiese def. Borshchev // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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UFC Fight Night 205: Preliminary Card

Neil Magny vs Max Griffin

Welterweight (170)

Neil Magny (25-8)

It’s a tough life being a Neil Magny-enjoyer. Magny isn’t the most exciting fighter to watch at the best of times, explaining how he has ended up as chiefly a ‘prospect tester’. Griffin doesn’t fall into the prospect category, but he finds himself on a run of form that Judge Magny will have to test. A freakishly lanky Welterweight, Magny stays active on the outside but excels in awkward clinches. His length and height see Magny weigh on opponents and swelter them with pressure.

Max Griffin (18-8)

Can Max Griffin get inside of Magny’s 80″ jab? Not very likely. Griffin currently sits on a three-fight streak, but his biggest W remains a youthful Mike Perry or heavily overrated Zelim Imadaev. Griffin is a solid counter-puncher, regularly evidencing an excellent judge of distance. Without exceptional footwork/use of angles or a frame to match Magny, Griffin will be chasing thin air for most of the night. Griffin is an underrated wrestler but nowhere near the level of Magny.

Predicted Result: Magny Decision

Can Max Griffin get inside of Magny’s 80″ jab? Not very likely. Without exceptional footwork/use of angles or a frame to match Magny, Griffin will be chasing thin air for most of the night. If Griffin opts instead to grapple, Magny has regularly proven his a tricky customer to control and will more likely torch Griffin’s gas tank than find meaningful success.

Result: Magny def. Griffin // Decision (Split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Sara McMann vs Karol Rosa

Women’s Bantamweight (135)

Sara McMann (12-6)

At forty-one years of age, it is fair to say that McMann’s best chances of becoming a champion have well and truly left her behind. McMann carries surprising pop to her single-shot striking game, in addition to phenomenal power wrestling. Unfortunately, McMann falls to more physical opponents who can create mental questions and prevent McMann from finding top position. Against a fighter, such as Karol Rosa, McMann will struggle to find confidence under the barrage of combinations that Rosa rains.

Karol Rosa (15-3)

Able to fire off rapid, endless combinations, Karol Rosa is a cardio machine and has a realistic chance of forcing McMann into a gun-shy defensive shell. While the Brazilian’s leaky TDD will likely see her hit the mat, her scrambling has been slowly improving over her UFC run. With the chin to eat McMann’s occasional firepower, Rosa has the output that will capture the scorecards.

Predicted Result: Rosa Decision

McMann carries surprising pop to her single-shot striking game, in addition to phenomenal power wrestling. Against a fighter, such as Karol Rosa, McMann will struggle to find confidence under the barrage of combinations that Rosa rains. Confidence issues have plagued McMann over recent years and although the Brazilian is likely to hit the mat in this affair, Rosa’s output on the feet will capture the scorecards.

Result: McMann def. Rosa // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Batgerel Danaa vs Chris Gutierrez

Bantamweight (135)

Batgerel Danaa (12-2)

Batgerel may find himself on a wonderful three-fight first-round KO streak, but the debut decision loss to Heili Alateng still stinks out the hype train. The issue with Batgerel outside of the first round is his one-pace game, albeit, it is a solid enough pace to catch opponents unaware early. Gutierrez is smart enough to adapt to the pressure and powerful hooks of Batgerel, at which point, what does Batgerel have in the locker to deal with Gutierrez’s shifting footwork?

Chris Gutierrez (17-3-2)

A ferocious leg kicker, there is a rare image that keeps appearing of Gutierrez getting slept by a Batgerel hook as he sits into a calf kick. More likely, however, is that Gutierrez works hard to control the early pace of the fight. Gutierrez often starts early to then drag opponents into a preferred bit-piece striking affair on the outside – there aren’t many unranked Bantamweights as wily or adaptable as Gutierrez. Unless Batgerel taps into an unseen level in his wrestling locker, Gutierrez will crack the code after a tough opening round.

Predicted Result: Gutierrez Decision

Batgerel’s biggest problem is his inability to move up the gears and push an increasingly harder pace – the Mongolian sets about his work with the same intensity from the opening to closing bell. Granted, it has seen Batgerel collect three first-round KOs in a row, but Gutierrez represents one of the most adaptable Bantamweights outside of the rankings. Unless Batgerel taps into an unseen level in his wrestling locker, Gutierrez will crack the code after a tough opening round.

Result: Gutierrez def. Batgerel // TKO (spinning back fist and elbows) Round 2 2:34

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Aliaskhab Khizriev vs Denis Tiuliulin

Middleweight (185)

Aliaskhab Khizriev (12-2)

Since his first-round submission victory in the DWCS, Khizriev has suffered four cancelled bouts due to a variety of injuries and COVID-related troubles. Khizriev’s bread and butter is his grappling, and while it isn’t the most nuanced, the physical beast has comfortably dispatched solid journeyman operators on the regional scene.

Denis Tiuliulin (10-5)

Tiuliulin steps up on just a week’s notice to face a far better-equipped opponent than himself. The Russian carries freakish power that compliments his messy, unorthodox striking style – with his strange decision making and wild combinations offering a double-edged sword. Tiuliulin could catch Khizriev early, the Russian possesses the power to cause an upset, but it is more likely that Tiuliulin’s terrible decisions find him on the mat and in a choke before the second round.

Predicted Result: Khizriev Submission Round 1

Tiuliulin steps up on just a week’s notice to face a far better-equipped opponent than himself. The Russian carries freakish power that compliments his messy, unorthodox striking style. Tiuliulin could catch Khizriev early, the Russian possesses the power to cause an upset, but it is more likely that Tiuliulin’s terrible decisions find him on the mat and in a choke before the second round.

Result: Khizriev def. Tiuliulin // Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2 1:58

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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Jennifer Maia vs Manon Fiorot

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Jennifer Maia (19-8-1)

It feels as though Jennifer Maia has peaked after winning a round against the champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Women’s Flyweight is a dire division in terms of title contenders, with the UFC taking a risk by pitting a rising contender against Maia rather than fast-tracking Fiorot to a title shot. Joanne Wood found out the hard way that Maia is one of the relentless customers at 125lbs. The Brazilian is a tough, physical grappler but she will struggle to close the distance against the sharper, faster Frenchwoman.

Manon Fiorot (8-1)

A consistent front-foot fighter who can take the fight away from opponents if handed control of the pace and range of a fight. Not to once again slander Women’s Flyweight, but only the champion has ever shown the ability to regularly contest the pace of affairs. Maia has shown the ability to press forwards, but her limited striking variety or feints will struggle to make Fiorot uncomfortable. Maia represents a jump in quality for Fiorot, but her more significant output and attention to the body are the keys to this fight.

Predicted Result: Fiorot Decision

Women’s Flyweight is a dire division in terms of title contenders, with the UFC taking a risk by pitting a rising contender against Maia rather than fast-tracking Fiorot to a title shot. Joanne Wood found out the hard way that Maia is one of the relentless customers at 125lbs. Regardless, Maia’s limited striking variety or feints will struggle to make Fiorot uncomfortable. Fiorot lays down a consistent output on the front foot and can take the fight away from Maia if she can’t take the fight to the mat.

Result: Fiorot def. Maia // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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David Dvorak vs Matheus Nicolau

Flyweight (125)

David Dvorak (20-3)

Another cheeky Flyweight fight that has found itself unceremoniously down in the prelims, this has the potential to be fun. Dvorak will deliver huge volume against Nicolau, with the speed differential potentially negating Nicolau’s fantastic timing and instead, overwhelming the Brazilian. If Nicolau opts to panic wrestle, Dvorak has a long list of scalps who have fallen to his deadly rear-naked choke.

Matheus Nicolau (17-2-1)

Since his return to the UFC, Nicolau has solidified himself as a sharp counter-striker in addition to a functioning wrestler. If anything, Nicolau’s greatest strength is his ability to steal rounds based on his well-rounded skill set and smart decision making. Opponents can often be ‘busier’ than Nicolau, but the Brazilian tends to land the cleaner work and find the odd minute of control time to win over the judges.

Predicted Result: Nicolau Decision

As a sucker for a clean counter-puncher, I’m giving Nicolau the nod, but this should be a razor-thin affair. Dvorak will deliver huge volume against Nicolau, with the speed differential potentially negating Nicolau’s fantastic timing and instead, overwhelming the Brazilian. Throughout his career, however, Nicolau has shown the ability to clutch rounds based on his well-rounded skill set and smart decision making.

Result: Nicolau def. Dvorak // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Prediction Accuracy

UFC Fight Night 205

Winner: 9/12

Method: 8/12

Round: 7/12

2022 MMA Season

Winner: 85/120

Method: 59/120

Round: 54/120

MMA Overall

Winner: 581/912

Method: 422/912

Round: 379/912

Takeaway comments: After the excitement of UFC London, this entire event felt like a slap in the face.


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