When Chris Daukaus enters the octagon on Saturday at UFC Columbus, it will be his second bout fighting as a full time fighter.
He wishes he would have have made the decision sooner.
As of December 1, 2021, Daukaus (12-4) finished his career as an active duty Philadelphia police officer. While his first fight as a full-time fighter did not go his way, Daukaus doesn’t regret his decision and actually wishes he would have done it sooner.
“So my official last day, like my resigning day was December 1, but I wasn’t at work, I was using up all my time because the city said, ‘you pretty much have to use your time or we’re going to cut you a check’, but the check wasn’t worth it as far as the conversion… It’s been about eight months. Um, it’s really great. Like, it’s great. I don’t know why I had a job in the first place. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner,” Daukaus told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “But yeah, like when I left, the immediate stress, the immediate worry. It literally felt like when people say the weight was lifted off their shoulders like it was gone and I was free. I felt really good. I’m not going back. I’m not doing that ever again.”
Daukaus is in his second straight main event at UFC Columbus, something he didn’t see coming, especially coming off a loss in his first main event.
“I thought that was like, the UFC is like, hey, we’ll give you a shot. Let’s see how you do in the main event against Derrick Lewis. We’ll see the feedback on what the fans are saying and everything like that,” said Daukaus.
“And, you know, I went out there, lost and I thought, ‘okay, back to the prelims’ or whatever it’s gonna be. I was expecting, you know, three, five-minute round fights. I wasn’t expecting to get a guy like Curtis Blaydes,” Daukaus continued. “I expected maybe another top 10 guy. But not Curtis, not in the top five. I wasn’t expecting that. And then the whole main event status was really crazy. Obviously, I’m not going to say no to that. So, yeah, the UFC called. And I said, Yeah, I have nothing to do. Yes, I will. Gladly. I’ll gladly get into a fistfight.”
The 32-year old hopes to prove a lot of his new doubters wrong this weekend. He knows it’s a tough task going from the No. 1 knockout artist of all time to the best wrestler in the division, but he is up for the challenge. It is what he got into the sport for — by way of jiu-jitsu. “I started out in jiu-jitsu. I didn’t start in MMA, I didn’t start in boxing, I didn’t start in kickboxing. It was strictly jiu-jitsu. Got my black belt,” Daukaus noted. But, he added, “I like knocking people out, man. That’s just what it is. I like knocking people out. It’s just my thing.”
Watch the rest of our interview with Chris Daukaus above, where he speaks about the match-up, a funny police story, fight fans, and more. UFC Columbus goes down Saturday on ESPN +.