Blaydes entered the fight ranked No. 4 while Daukaus sat just inside the Top 10 at No. 9. Blaydes had won five of his last six bouts and was coming off a unanimous decision win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 266 in September. Daukaus had a five-fight winning streak snapped in his previous bout, losing to Derrick Lewis by knockout in December.
Blaydes, who holds the recored for the most takedowns in UFC heavyweight history, showed that he’s not just a wrestler on Saturday.
The entire first round played out in the feet. Daukaus connected with two right hands early in the round, but Blaydes found his range and landed his right hand and jab.
In the second round, both fighters planted and unloaded right hands. Blaydes’ connected and Daukaus crumbled to the canvas. Blaydes swooped in looking for the finish and stopped Daukaus with a series of punches on the ground.
Following the win, Blaydes called for an interim heavyweight title bout against former interim champion Ciryl Gane.
“I’m thinking I deserve an interim title shot again Gane,” Blaydes said after the win. “I want next. I want the title shot. We can do it anytime this summer: June, July, August. I’m down.”