The UFC is back with another fight night this weekend. This weekend, the Apex is headlined by a welterweight showdown between Vicente Luque and Rafael dos Anjos, a matchup that it sure to be an epic war in Las Vegas. Here though, we are breaking down and predicting the light heavyweight showdown between Khalil Rountree and Chris Daukaus. Read on below to find our analysis of this matchup, as well as our prediction for this fight!
Khalil Rountree: Making the Most of Momentum
Khalil Rountree is currently riding an excellent run of form.
The current No. 15 ranked light heavyweight is currently riding a very impressive three fight winning streak, with impressive finishes of Modestas Bukauskas and Karl Roberson preceding a split decision victory over Dustin Jacoby in his last fight in October of last year. Prior to this winning run, Rountree had been on a two fight losing skid, so he has managed to firmly turn his bad form around, and in a very impressive way too; few could have made the prediction that Rountree would have turned his losing streak around so quickly.
Khalil Rountree will be coming into this fight with a lot of confidence, and rightfully so. He is an extremely powerful fighter, and has proven that he can end the fight with just one good shot. Possessing that type of power is always an excellent equaliser, and Rountree will be hoping to call on it once more when he faces off against Chris Daukaus on Saturday night.
Chris Daukaus: Desperately Needs to Turn it Around
Chris Daukaus is on a terrible run of form. In fact, he is currently the polar opposite of Khalil Rountree.
Unlike Rountree, Chris Daukaus is in the middle of a downward spiral; a three fight losing streak. Admittedly, his three fight losing streak has come against the who's who of the heavyweight division of the UFC; losses to Derrick Lewis, Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik are nothing to be ashamed of in any way. Unfortunately, notwithstanding this, Daukaus has been brutally finished in all three of said fights, a prediction few would have made. Long story short – Chris Daukaus needs to turn that losing skid around, and fast. Whether a move to the light heavyweight division will prove to be the answer or not remains to be seen.
Khalil Rountree: Path to Victory: Knock Out, or Get Knocked Out
Realistically, a Khalil Rountree fight only ends one of two ways – either he brutally finishes his opponent, or he gets knocked out. And that is likely how this fight is going to go.
Despite being an extremely violent knockout artist, Rountree has actually been rounding and developing his game very well. He was able to TKO Modestas Bukauskas by implementing brutal oblique kicks (think prime Jon Jones), and was able to finish Bukauskas as a result. In finishing Karl Roberson, he showed impressive speed and footwork, two things he has clearly been working on for some time, paying off dividends in a big way.
Even in his split decision victory over Dustin Jacoby, Rountree showed a lot of technical prowess, as well as a ton of grit and heart to eek out the split decision victory. People who made the prediction that Rountree could be a force in this division are being firmly vindicated.
If Khalil Rountree is able to force the tempo and press the issue in this fight, then he could certainly make life very, very difficult for Chris Daukaus. He will likely look to immobilise Daukaus by taking out his legs, followed by some heavy head-hunting. As mentioned already, it's no ridiculous prediction to say that Khalil Rountree is approaching this fight with a ton of confidence, but he does so with very good reason.
Chris Daukaus: Path to Victory: Catch Khalil Off-Guard
Khalil Rountree is the huge favourite in this fight, and for very good reason.
For Chris Daukaus, his best chance at winning this fight is timing a shot good enough to catch Khalil Rountree out. Whilst Khalil Rountree is a devastating striker (and he is truly devastating), he has also been known to be reckless and to get into unnecessary firefights when he doesn't need to. And this is where Chris Daukaus could have a shot at winning.
Daukaus possesses very heavy hands. Plus, he's a heavyweight by trade. By moving down to light heavyweight, Daukaus is likely giving himself a power advantage, whilst also being well accustomed to dealing with the power of the heavyweight division. If he can get his timing just right, he might well be able to land a shot that puts Khalil Rountree. If he can connect, then he certainly possesses the firepower to finish the fight.
Official Prediction: Rountree to Remain on Run
In this fight, Khalil Rountree should just have too much for Chris Daukaus, which is why I am making the prediction that he will win this fight.
Whilst Chris Daukaus does have a chance to make a big statement in his debut at light heavyweight, I am making the prediction that he will just fall short. Khalil Rountree has so much experience in this division, and he has managed to build up a much-needed run of momentum. Truthfully, Daukaus is dipping his toes into the light heavyweight waters with a shark swimming in that water. There are many easier fights he could have taken.
I think Khalil Rountree's speed is going to be a big factor in this fight, as well as his phenomenal power at 205 lbs. Chris Daukaus could have a really difficult time coming to terms with Khalil Rountree, and I am making the prediction that Rountree will connect with a big shot to end this fight.
Official prediction: Khalil Rountree to win via second round TKO.