For Daukaus, he was coming off of his first loss in the UFC. He started out his career inside the octagon at 4-0 with four knockouts. He was gaining so much hype that the UFC gave him a main event slot against former two-time title challenger and knockout king Derrick Lewis.
Shockingly, Daukaus was the favorite entering that contest. Lewis made a statement that night and knocked Daukaus out in the first round. It was a tough loss for Daukaus, but he was ready to bounce back and the promotion gave him another top contender in Curtis Blaydes.
Conventional wisdom would say that if the main event at UFC Columbus stayed standing, Daukaus would win. However, Curtis Blaydes had other plans that would throw a wrench into that narrative.
Throughout the first round, Blaydes was doing a good job catching Daukaus coming in. Daukaus had his moments, but you could tell he was slower thinking about the takedown attempts. In the second round, Blaydes landed a brutal shot that ended the fight for Daukaus.
What’s next after UFC Columbus?
This was a really tough loss for Daukaus who has now lost two in a row after surging up the ranks in the UFC’s heavyweight division. After losing on Saturday, it’s clear that he needs to take a slight step back in terms of the competition.
Personally, I would love to see Daukaus slim down a little to make 205. I really think he would be a great addition to the light heavyweight division, but it doesn’t look like that’s in the cards for the heavyweight contender.
So, who should the UFC pair him with? Well, I think finding someone in a similar spot would be a good start. I’m thinking a fight with Augusto Sakai makes a ton of sense.
Like Daukaus, Sakai had started his UFC run unbeaten. However, he’s recently suffered three straight defeats and now he’s left with a lot of questions regarding what’s next. I think it’s time to put these two against each other and re-establish one of them.