By News Team
Last Updated: 16th December 2021
After the final numbered card of the year at UFC 269 saw one of the most surprising title changes in MMA history, as Julianna Pena dethroned Amanda Nunes to become women’s bantamweight champion, we could be set for a few more surprise results from the UFC’s final card of 2021 on Saturday.
In the main event, Derrick Lewis looks to bounce back from defeat in a title eliminator against Ciryl Gane as he faces the impressive Chris Daukaus, who is unbeaten in his first UFC appearances.
Meanwhile, in the co-main, fan-favourite Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson takes on Belal Muhammad in a fascinating welterweight clash. We preview all the action and run through our UFC betting odds below.
Derrick Lewis v Chris Daukaus – Heavyweight
Derrick Lewis is box office. He might be classed as your ‘classic’ heavyweight, relying on his ferocious knockout power to overcome shortcomings as a mixed martial artist, but with 12 UFC knockouts to his name, few who have come before have been so effective at closing the show.
In fact, no fighter in UFC history has more knockouts than Lewis, and a KO win at 2/1 on Saturday night would see him hold the record outright. He’s more than just a knockout artist, though, going the distance with the likes of champion Francis Ngannou and having his hand raised too.
His opponent, Chris Daukaus, doesn’t have the big fight experience of Lewis, but is on a five-fight winning streaking, including his first four in the UFC. He’s no stranger to closing the show either, with each of his last nine professional wins coming via KO/TKO.
Daukaus has wins over respected opposition such as Alexey Oleynik, but this is certainly the biggest test of his career so far and a huge opportunity for him to propel himself into the title conversations. The part-time fire fighter is currently 11/8 to win his 10th fight in a row via KO/TKO.
With vastly more big-fight experience, you would expect Lewis to have the upper hand in this one as he is more than capable of finishing any heavyweight he gets in the octagon with. Don’t discount Daukaus, though, who is very well rounded and equally capable of causing Lewis trouble on the feet.
Stephen Thompson v Belal Muhammad – Welterweight
As a firm fan favourite Stephen Thompson will be hoping he is able to force through a claim to a welterweight title shot as one of the few fighters in that division yet to be beaten by dominant champion Kamaru Usman. Despite losing three of his last five, ‘Wonderboy’ recently signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC and looks set to compete in more than 20 UFC bouts before his career is done.
Standing in his way is Belal Muhammad, who impressed many with his resolute takedown defence in his last bout against Demian Maia, and is looking to stake a title claim, coming into this one without defeat in his last five bouts. Muhammad has shown huge overall improvement in recent years, and a big win against a household name in Thompson would certainly get people talking about his prospects.