UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus Predictions
Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus
Lewis suffered a TKO loss in his attempt to win the interim heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane last time out, ending a four-fight winning streak and now he looks to end the year on a brighter note as he takes on the in-form Daukaus, who has racked up four finishes in a row via strikes since joining the UFC in the summer of last year.
Daukaus will give up around 30lbs in weight and 3″ in reach to Lewis in this fight, but even so he’s not a particularly trim, athletic heavyweight. Nevertheless, he does move well, has good striking technique for the weight class and has already proven his punching power.
Lewis is also deceptively quick for his size and combined with his raw power being among the deadliest in the division that makes him a potentially fight-ender at any moment. He’s not as technically sound as Daukaus though and cardio issues are always a concern for him, while the 36-year-old’s latest loss was the fifth time he’s been TKO’d during his seven year UFC run, so he’s certainly not an unstoppable force.
This is a step up for Daukaus and so now we’ll begin to see whether he is the real deal or was just shining against weaker opposition. I like what I’ve seen from him though and while Lewis’ one-punch knockout power can be a game-changer, I feel Daukaus’ more sustained and technical output could serve him well here, leading to a third round TKO victory.
Prediction: Chris Daukaus to win by TKO in Rd3.
Belal Muhammad vs. Stephen Thompson
Muhammad comes into this fight unbeaten in his last six Octagon outings, while former title challenger Thompson comes in off a decision loss against Gilbert Burns after winning two in a row prior to that.
Muhammad is a well-rounded fighter who likes to be the bully as he will be seeking to close the distance and apply pressure with strikes, clinch work, or takedowns, where his stronger wrestling could pay off.
However, Muhammad doesn’t have big power in his hands and in general is not much of a finisher, with just five stoppage victories from 19 wins to date, and though he is a tough competitor who has only been stopped once in his career, he has been rocked several times during his UFC run.
Also, Muhammad’s biggest struggles have come against talented, technical strikers like Vicente Luque, Geoff Neal and Alan Jouban who can best him at range, and Thompson is one of the best in the business when it comes to that style.
Thompson’s slick movement, razor-sharp karate-based striking, speed and timing together with a 1″ height and 4″ reach advantage all seem like great tools to keep Muhammad at bay for the full three rounds in order to pick up a decision win here.
Prediction: Stephen Thompson to win by decision.
Amanda Lemos vs. Angela Hill
Lemos comes into this fight with plenty of momentum, having won four fights in a row, including her latest two first round TKO’s finishes, while Hill always keeps things competitive, but has lost three of her last four bouts.
This should be a high-paced striking battle with Hill working her volume-based stand-up game, but Lemos having the ability to hang with that for the most part.
However, there’s no doubt that there’s a big difference in the punching power between these two as Lemos is particularly heavy-handed for the weight class and lands her strikes with real authority, while Hill racks up big numbers of strikes landed, but is generally more likely to reap the benefits of that on the scorecards.
I think Lemos is also the more calculating striker of the two, making the better use of her key weapons at the right time and combined with her power that could lead her to a stoppage win. Hill has never been finished by strikes though and so I feel she can make it to the final bell before losing out on the judges decision.
Prediction: Amanda Lemos to win by decision.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon
At 39-years-old Assuncao is on the worst run of his entire career with three losses in a row, including a KO defeat against Cody Garbrandt last time out (all the way back in June of last year), while the 29-year-old Simon rides into the fight on a three-fight winning streak.
Assuncao may be slowing down a bit and never was especially dynamic, but let’s not forget that before his recent losses this was a man who had gone on an 11-1 run in the bantamweight ranks, so his robust, well-rounded ability and vast experience means he still remains a threat.
Simon will be the quicker of the two though and has a 2.5″ reach advantage, but while he can mix it up to some extent on the feet, he’s not as accomplished as Assuancao in that regard.
However, Simon is such a machine with his repeated takedowns and wrestling that I’d expect him to have some significant success with that over the course of this fight.
Assuncao could threaten by submission, but I think Simon will enjoy periods of control on the mat and be able to push the pace harder than his aging opponent to a win on the judges scorecards.
Prediction: Ricky Simon to win by decision.
Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Gamrot
Ferreira comes into this fight off two losses after having won six-in-a-row prior to that, while Gamrot lost his UFC debut by split decision, but has since won twice in 2021 to takes his overall career record to 19-1.
Gamrot is a formidable opponent as he’s got a strong wrestling and submission game, but is also a threat on the feet and has the cardio to push the pace for the duration regardless of where the action goes.
Ferreira is well-rounded too though with high-level Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and an active striking presence, while also drawing on a wealth of experience against quality opposition that only makes him a more crafty, hard-to-beat competitor.
So this is going to be a big test for Gamrot and I think he may well have to battle all the way to the finishing line in order to get a win here, but I expect his strong wrestling and ability to land the harder blows on the feet when necessary will be important factors that’ll help him get his hand raised here.
Prediction: Mateusz Gamrot to win by decision.
Cub Swanson vs. Darren Elkins
Returning after a 63 second TKO loss to Giga Chikadze back in May, Swanson now goes up against a fellow featherweight veteran in Elkins, who is coming off two stoppage wins in a row.
In terms of striking technique Swanson certainly has the edge here and he will also be able to out-volume Elkins with his varied, technical and dynamic offensive output.
With that in mind it’ll likely not be long before ‘The Damage’ is indeed wearing the effects of eating those strikes, but that’s nothing new to Elkins, who almost seems to be perpetually bleeding during his bouts, and he’ll just continue to force his way into the fire and look for takedowns.
That could be a real concern for Swanson as his takedown defense isn’t the best and his achilles heel is clearly the fact that he struggles to fend off submission attempts.
Elkins is more likely to look for ground-and-pound though and that would afford Swanson more opportunities to scramble back to his feet, where I feel he can really piece-up Elkins to good effect with combination striking to secure a decision win.
Prediction: Cub Swanson to win by decision.
UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Dustin Stoltzfus vs. Gerald Meerschaert
Charles Jourdain vs. Andre Ewell
Justin Tafa vs. Harry Hunsucker
Don’tale Mayes vs. Josh Parisian
Matt Sayles vs. Jordan Leavitt
Raquel Pennington vs. Macy Chiasson
Sijara Eubanks vs. Melissa Gatto
Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process.
You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.