UFC Fight Night 205: Blaydes vs. Daukaus Odds, Schedule, Predictions

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2022

UFC Fight Night 205: Blaydes vs. Daukaus Odds, Schedule, Predictions

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    Jim Young/Associated Press

    A heavyweight showdown between Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus headlines a UFC fight night card in Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. 

    The event marks the organization's first trip to the Buckeye state since UFC 203. That event featured a heavyweight title fight in which Stipe Miocic defeated Alistair Overeem. 

    This heavyweight bout doesn't have nearly the same stakes, but it will factor into the division moving forward. Daukaus is looking to recoup the momentum he lost when he was knocked out by Derrick Lewis last time out. Blaydes is always on the precipice of title contention. 

    The two will look especially huge after watching women's flyweights Joanne Wood (formerly Calderwood) and Alexa Grasso fight in the co-main event. 

    Here's a look at the complete card along with the latest odds and a breakdown and prediction for each of the biggest fights. 

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

    Main Card (ESPN/ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)

    • Curtis Blaydes (-475, bet $475 to win $100) vs. Chris Daukaus (+350, bet $100 to win $350)
    • Alexa Grasso (-265) vs. Joanne Wood (+215)
    • Bryan Barberena (-110) vs. Matt Brown (-110)
    • Askar Askarov (-425) vs. Kai Kara-France (+320)
    • Ilir Latifi (-225) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+185)
    • Viacheslav Borshchev (-145) vs. Marc Diakiese (+125)

    Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)

    • Max Griffin (+220) vs. Neil Magny (-275)
    • Sara McMann (+185) vs. Karol Rosa (-225)
    • Batgerel Danaa (-135) vs. Chris Gutierrez (+115)
    • Aliaskhab Khizriev (-1125) vs. Denis Tiuliulin (+700)
    • Manon Fiorot (-450) vs. Jennifer Maia (+340)
    • David Dvorak (-135) vs. Matheus Nicolau (+115)
    • Luis Saldana (+110) vs. Bruno Souza (-130)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Blaydes vs. Daukaus

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    Mike Roach/Getty Images

    It doesn't get more grappler vs. striker than this one. 

    Curtis Blaydes is the ultimate spam wrestler. When he's at his best he is relentlessly hunting takedowns. He averages 6.27 per 15 minutes, which is roughly two per round. Once he gets his opponent down, he's one of the division's best at retaining top control and will throw bombs from good positions. 

    The only thing that has stopped Blaydes from rising to the ranks of champion is power. As in, he's been caught by two of the best power punchers in the division. Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis remain the only two who have beaten him.

    Both put him to sleep. So the question this fight revolves around is: Can Daukaus can do the same? The 32-year-old has not completed a single takedown in the UFC, but he hasn't been taken down, either. 

    He's also picked up all of his wins in the UFC by knockout. That's his most likely path to victory, but he still hasn't shown that he has the one-punch power of Ngannou or Lewis. Until he does, Blaydes is the pick here. 

    Prediction: Blaydes via third-round TKO

Grasso vs. Wood

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    Mike Roach/Getty Images

    After spending the first eight years of her career as a strawweight, Alexa Grasso's move up to flyweight has paid immediate dividends. 

    She was 2-3 in her last five fights at 115 pounds. Since ditching the weight cut and fighting at 125 pounds, she has ripped off wins against Ji Yeon Kim and Maycee Barber. Her boxing has really stood out. She utilized it to outpoint Barber despite getting taken down four times. 

    Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how Grasso continues to deal with the bigger grapplers in the division. That's not something we will see here, though. 

    Wood is much more reliant on her kickboxing and will look to keep this fight at that range. But Grasso is a good enough athlete and quick enough with her jab to get to her preferred range. 

    Neither of these fighters has much power, so going the distance is the surest bet here. 

    Prediction: Grasso via decision

Askarov vs. Kara-France

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    Mike Roach/Getty Images

    It might not be in one of the marquee spots, but there's a good argument to be made that Askar Asarov vs. Kai Kara-France is the most important fight of the night. 

    It is getting more difficult to deny Askarov a title shot in the flyweight division. The undefeated 29-year-old's only blemish on his record is a draw with Brandon Moreno, who happens to have just relinquished his belt to Deiveson Figueiredo. 

    Outside of that, the only setback for Askarov was that he missed weight for his most recent win over Joseph Benavidez. But he figured those issues out and was once again on target for this fight against Kara-France. 

    Kara-France has his own case for a title shot in the near future. He rebounded from a loss to Brandon Royval in a Fight of the Night with two first-round knockout wins over Rogerio Bontorin and Cody Garbrandt. 

    However, Asakarov is a different kind of opponent. While those guys were willing to stand and exchange, Askarov will be looking to get his wrestling going. That should be enough for him to keep the winning streak alive. 

    Prediction: Askarov via decision


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