UFC in Vegas 45: Lewis vs. Daukaus and Best Bets on the Card

Derrick Lewis yells on the scale. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP.

We’re back with our favorite selection of UFC main card best bets. The UFC in Vegas 45: Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus main card UFC Odds are available.

Read on for our complete betting guide and preview on this week’s favorite main card UFC picks, including updated odds and free expert UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Daukaus betting predictions.

Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus

UFC Heavyweight Main Event Bout

Saturday, December 18, 2021 – 09:04 PM EST at Apex Center

Derrick Lewis

  • Professional MMA Record: 25-8-0
  • Knockout Record: 20-5
  • Submission Record: 1-1
  • SIG Strikes Landed Per Minute: 2.49
  • SIG Strike Accuracy: 52.14%
  • Takedown Average: 0.49
  • Takedown Accuracy: 25.93%
  • Submission Average: 0.00

Before the arrival of Francis Ngannou, there were no other mixed martial artists with the punching power capabilities of Derrick Lewis. The fighting pride of New Orleans, Louisiana, owns the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history. He literally fought his way into the top-five heavyweight rankings through his terrifying ability to disable the opposition via an unhuman-like amount of striking power.

After losing his opportunity to become the UFC heavyweight interim champion against Ciryl Gane, Lewis welcomes a new era of an opponent in Chris Daukaus to take the “Black Beast” durability test.

Chris Daukaus

  • Professional MMA Record: 12-3-1
  • Knockout Record: 11-2
  • Submission Record: 0-1
  • SIG Strikes Landed Per Minute: 9.03
  • SIG Strike Accuracy: 54.85%
  • Takedown Average: 0.00
  • Takedown Accuracy: 0.00
  • Submission Average: 0.00

Former police officer Chris Daukaus has burst onto the UFC heavyweight scene since making his promotional debut in 2020. A four-fight win streak has been complimented with four consecutive KO/TKO victories as he’ll now face a true heavyweight test in Derrick Lewis.

Interestingly, Daukaus is also gaining the notoriety of being a martial artist who completes his fights by using his fists. However, unlike Derrick Lewis, Daukaus owns a high-output and technical striking ability that his opponents struggle to withstand.

Fight Analysis and UFC in Vegas 45 Betting Pick

Call me crazy, but despite the devastating finishing ability of both fighters in this Saturday’s main event, I’m envisioning a contest that can exceed 1 and a ½ rounds.

I expect Daukaus to take this contest slow and take a page from Ciryl Gane’s book by staying at range and utilizing the muay thai striking style he fights with. He’ll want to avoid a brawl, and eventually, I can visualize a finish happening, but for a near plus-money price, I think the initial 7 minutes 30 seconds are worth placing a wager against.

UFC Pick: Over 1 and a ½ Rounds (-125) Unibet

Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad

UFC Welterweight Co-Main Event Bout

Saturday, December 18, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at the UFC Apex Center

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson

  • Professional MMA Record: 16-5-0
  • Knockout Record: 7-1
  • Submission Record: 1-0
  • SIG Strikes Landed Per Minute: 4.06
  • SIG Strike Accuracy: 47.14%
  • Takedown Average: 0.30
  • Takedown Accuracy: 45.45%
  • Submission Average: 0.00

One of the most recognizable names with the UFC’s 170lb weight class that isn’t a former titleholder is Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Most known for his wide karate stance and excellent striking attributes, “Wonderboy” is fighting beyond the prime years of his professional MMA career whilst maintaining an elite delivery.

A large chunk of the MMA fan base has thrived for Thompson to become a world champion; a loveable personality and an entertaining fight style haven’t been enough to deliver gold, but doubting his ability amongst the top ten of the division would be foolish.

Belal Muhammad

  • Professional MMA Record: 19-3-0
  • Knockout Record: 4-1
  • Submission Record: 1-0
  • SIG Strikes Landed Per Minute: 4.61
  • SIG Strike Accuracy: 50.14%
  • Takedown Average: 1.80
  • Takedown Accuracy: 28.21%
  • Submission Average: 0.16

Another fan favorite in Belal Muhammad will certainly split MMA fanatics on who they want to succeed this Saturday. Still, the Roufusport Academy prospect has been growing his professional record ever since joining the UFC roster.

Muhammad isn’t known for having a brutal finishing ability, but it’s a grinding, relentless amount of pressure and output that’s assisted him in most of his wins.

Fight Analysis and UFC in Vegas 45 Betting Pick

The available UFC in Vegas 45 odds have swayed in Thompson’s favor since the initial opening line, and it’s hard to disagree with the movement.

The typical approach to defeating Thompson is eliminating his striking output through a grappling gameplan or damaging him with power punches. The problem for Belal is that his wrestling isn’t on the level of Gilbert Burns, and he doesn’t present much striking power.

Thompson’s footwork, ability to manage distance, and striking output should easily conclude this matchup with a unanimous decision victory in his favor, especially when Belal has the durability and grittiness to remain in the fight.

UFC Pick: Thompson to Win on Points (+100) at DraftKings