Heavyweight Chris Daukaus admitted ahead of this Saturdays’ UFC Columbus card to experiencing some self-doubt following his loss to Derrick Lewis late last year.
Daukaus (12-4) faces Curis Blaydes in the main event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, the second straight Fight Night card the UFC is hosting outside of Las Vegas. It’s also the second straight headlining slot for Daukaus, now a former police officer — and it was the loss to Lewis, timed with him leaving his day job, that caused the doubts to swirl.
“It certainly sucks, as far as losing, no one really likes to lose. I definitely don’t like to lose at anything,” Daukaus said during this week’s UFC Columbus media day. “But to lose like that, I was in a bad place for a little bit, just because, leaving my job right before that, officially leaving my job, the questions of ‘are you good enough? Should you be here? Did you make a mistake?’ — all that is just creeping into your head.”
“It’s not like I’m a single guy; my wife, my son, and then my daughter’s coming, so it’s a big commitment that I stepped away from,” continued Daukaus, “where I was guaranteed a paycheck every two weeks. Where now, I could go months without getting paid.”
“It was a big thing, I was in a dark place, I stayed there for a little bit, realized what I did wrong and everything like that, and I really just, I didn’t want to go back there. So I spent some time there. Going into this camp has been really good, just fixing everything that I made the mistakes on, as far as in the Derrick Lewis fight. But man, I honestly haven’t been this excited for a Fight Week, a fight camp, in a very long time.”
Despite the doubts that crept in and the bad place he found himself in following the Lewis loss, there was no question when the call came to fight Curtis Blaydes in Columbus.
“When? What date? It’s not a matter of yes, no, if, maybe, nothing like that. It’s ‘okay, we’re doing it, when’s the date?'” said Daukaus regarding his response to the offer. “I’ve just got to make sure everything else is good logistically with, making sure my brother doesn’t have a fight or anything like that. So yeah, we’re all good.”
Watch the full UFC Columbus media day interview with Chris Daukaus above.