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UFC Vegas 45 Main Event Preview and Breakdown: Lewis vs. Daukaus

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‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house, everyone was stirring, even the mouse.

The reason was simple, all MMA fans were excited.

The UFC had one last Fight Night in 2021, and all were invited.

One Last Heavyweight Fight to Ring Out 2021 in UFC Vegas 45 Main Event

Before the old year goes out with a bang, the world’s top MMA promotion has one last gift the weekend before the Christmas holiday– the UFC Vegas 45 main event, a heavyweight fight, and neither of them will be Santa Claus.

In the UFC Vegas 45 main event, No. 3 contender Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC MMA, 17-6 UFC) will do battle with No. 7 contender Christopher Daukaus (12-3 MMA, 4-0 UFC), a five-round fight at five minutes per round to close the show and the year for the UFC.

UFC Vegas 45 Fighter Comparison

Heading into Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 45 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Derrick Lewis and Christopher Daukaus stand level in height at 6-foot-3.

Lewis, however, holds a three-inch reach advantage (79 inches to 76 inches) and a 1/2-inch leg reach advantage (43 1/2 inches to 43 inches even) over Daukaus going into the UFC Vegas 45 main event this weekend.

Derrick Lewis Looks to Shake Off Loss vs. Ciryl Gane in UFC Vegas 45 Main Event

Derrick Lewis enters the UFC Vegas 45 main event having gone 4-1 in his last five MMA appearances, having a four-fight winning streak snapped at the hands of Ciryl Gane for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship in the main event of the Aug. 8 UFC 265 pay-per-view in Houston via third-round knockout (ground and pound shots.)

Prior to that, Lewis scored a second-round knockout due to an uppercut against Curtis Blaydes in UFC Vegas 19 in February of this year.

Before the Aug. 8 fight, Derrick Lewis had an amusing exchange with a press member, as is his brand, when asked if Gane could beat him in the former’s hometown.

“You’re going to have to excuse my French, but (expletive deleted) you and (expletive deleted) him,” Lewis began. “Write that (expletive deleted) down, take a picture. I don’t give an (expletive deleted).”

Can Derrick Lewis bounce back and secure the win against a tough adversary in Christopher Daukaus during the UFC Vegas 45 main event on Saturday night?

Christopher Daukaus Enters UFC Vegas 45 Main Event Aiming to Continue Meteoric Rise

In the other corner, Christopher Daukaus, an alumnus of Cage Fury Fighting Championships, has gone 5-0 in his last five MMA fights entering the UFC Vegas 45 main event, dating back to his time in CFFC.

Last time out, he scored a second-round knockout (right cross followed by ground and pound shots) of Shamil Abdurakhimov during the UFC 266 undercard on Sept. 25.

The victory was his first knockout beyond the opening round of a fight in his last five appearances.

Daukaus, who has left his position as a member of the Philadelphia Police Department as of Tuesday to focus solely on fighting, recently sat down with the UFC’s Megan Olivi for an interview where he explained that he has his sights set on MMA’s grandest prize.

“That’s kind of like they have faith in you that people like you, people want to obviously watch you fight,” Daukaus said. “So, it’s a really good confidence-booster but it’s also like a ‘Hey, you kind of have to deliver on this type of thing, so I’m just going to go out there and just do what I do for the past four fights and hopefully make it five in a row.

The UFC Vegas 45 main event will be Christopher Daukaus’ fifth promotional appearance and his first fight in a main event for the UFC, something that he told Olivi that he’s been training for.

He hopes to never appear in another three-round fight in his career.

“I have a game plan, my team has a game plan, my strength and conditioning coach, he knows exactly what he’s doing,” Daukaus said. “We’re going to make this a constant thing because after I beat Derrick Lewis, there’s just going to be main events from here on out.”

A win in the UFC Vegas 45 would bolster Daukaus’s case toward a potential championship fight down the road.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 45 main event looks to favour Christopher Daukaus, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, compared to Derrick Lewis’ blue belt in BJJ.

Daukaus Has Vicious Punches

In looking at the videotape of his last fight against Shamil Abdurakhimov, Christopher Daukaus has vicious punching power.

Late in the first round, Daukaus knocked Abdurakhimov down with a left hook and then proceeded to score with ground and pound shots, including elbows, nearly finishing him before the horn to end the round blared.

Round two of that fight only lasted slightly over a minute as Daukaus put Abdurakhimov down again with a right cross and scored with another flurry of nasty ground and pound shots, culminating in a short burst of elbows to knock him out for good.

All it will take Christopher Daukaus to finish Lewis is one shot, so don’t blink.

Lewis Has Vicious Punches Himself

In the other corner, Derrick Lewis has one-punch power in his own right, as the video of his fight versus Curtis Blaydes indicates.

After having dropped the first round of the scheduled five to Blaydes, Lewis came back in a mammoth way in round two.

Lewis stuffed a Blaydes takedown early in the round and absorbed some punches on the exit.

About a minute later, Blaydes attempted another takedown, a move that wound up proving most costly, as Lewis struck with a nasty uppercut, sending Blaydes down and out in a flash.

If Derrick Lewis is able to be on-target with his punches, the UFC Vegas 45 main event could be a short night for Christopher Daukaus on Saturday.

Final Thoughts

As is the case with all heavyweight contests, the UFC Vegas 45 main event could very well be done and dusted with as little as one punch.

…But I heard Dana White say as he drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all. Let’s have a good fight.”

Prediction: Christopher Daukaus by First-Round Knockout.

Follow me on Twitter at @DrewZuhosky to see my latest work. Follow us on social media at @OTHeroicsMMA to stay tuned in with our content! Please visit our web page to keep up with everything MMA!

Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images and Embed from Getty Images

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.