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Fighting Enhances The Bond Between Chris And Kyle Daukaus

The Daukaus Brothers Continue To Climb The Ranks In Their Respective Divisions And Form Their UFC Legacies Side By Side

Chris and Kyle Daukaus aren’t the first set of siblings to rise the UFC ranks together, but they’ve certainly become a focus of conversation in the past few months.

Just one week after Chris’ second-round knockout over Shamil Abdurakhimov and third-consecutive bonus-worthy performance at UFC 266, Kyle’s bout against Kevin Holland ended in a controversial no contest, which sparked debate in the weeks following.

While Kyle faced a scheduling nightmare between his rematch with Holland and fill-in opponents when that fight fell off, Chris was booked for his first main event against Derrick Lewis to close out 2021.

Normally you’d think some level of envy would begin to set in, but as the two really start to make names for themselves in their respective divisions, they do so as a team — something that has always been the case throughout their athletic careers.

“We’ve always been super close, but school-wise, he’s four years above me,” Kyle explained. “So when I was getting into high school, he was graduating from high school. So we never really shared the same friends or anything like that, but as far as sports went, we did play the same sports. We were never on the same team or anything like that, but it still helped.”

The four-year gap also applied to their professional fighting careers, with 32-year-old Chris making his professional debut as a heavyweight in 2013, and 28-year-old Kyle following suit after a drop down from his amateur career at light heavyweight to middleweight in 2017.

A Sit-Down Interview With Megan Olivi

As the two navigated entering the world of combat sports, they found that having each other around not only benefited the physical aspects of fighting, but some of the mental ones as well.

Kyle Daukaus prepares for his middleweight bout against Kevin Holland at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Walker at Martinez BJJ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 13, 2021.  (Photo by McKenzie Pavacich/Zuffa LLC)
Kyle Daukaus prepares for his middleweight bout against Kevin Holland at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Walker at Martinez BJJ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 13, 2021.  (Photo by McKenzie Pavacich/Zuffa LLC)

“All of the things that you’re feeling, the media obligations or whatever it is you’re going through, we can talk to each other about it,” Chris said. “It’s really something that’s nice to have. You’re not really alone figuring this all out, instead we can really lean on each other and say what works for him and what works for me so it’s really good.

“We live on the same block, we pretty much spend every waking moment together except for a few moments here and there,” Chris added, chuckling. “You can have really good corners and really good teammates but it’s not the same as a brother who’s there and he knows your experiences; he knows exactly what you’re feeling as you’re going through the routine and grind of training and it’s something I’ll always cherish.”

View Their Athlete Profiles: Chris Daukaus | Kyle Daukaus

If you look at their fight history, you’ll see that when they could control it, the two never fought more than a few months apart, often taking fights within a matter of weeks of each other.

It’s a non-negotiable career strategy the brothers have employed, vowing to take part in each other’s fight camps, regardless of the outcome of their own fights.

“We both know that when we both fight, we both have to be in the gym afterwards for each other. When I’m fighting, I fight and then I come back to the gym and help him fight. Same thing with him,” Kyle said, adding that they not only coach each other during camps, but corner each other during fights as well. “The Monday after one of us fights, we’re both back in the gym training. I think it keeps both of us accountable.”

Chris Daukaus Sits Down With Megan Olivi | UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus
Chris Daukaus Sits Down With Megan Olivi | UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus
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By now you may be scratching your head, wondering how two equally successful professional athletes on a parallel career trajectory, who happen to be related to each other, could possibly work together all the time. While their motivation to uplift each other outweighs any competitiveness they might feel toward one another, it doesn’t mean their fight camps go off without any friction.

“When it gets down to it, this camp, because we’re fighting a week apart, there’s a lot of competitiveness between us,” Kyle said in an interview with UFC.com in mid-September. “We both get annoyed at each other and get mad at each other when we’re rolling, but in the end it makes us better.”

“There’s always a level of competitiveness—with anything. Checkers, chess… even in the rounds. Wrestling rounds, jiu-jitsu, whatever we’re doing, there’s always going to be a level of competitiveness. But it’s never malicious in any way where I’m trying to get the better of him. I am trying to get the better of him but in that I’m trying to improve on myself as a fighter and help him with certain things he can improve on — takedown defense, striking, whatever — and vice versa,” Chris said.

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While Chris has the advantage with age, there’s one thing Kyle will always have the upper hand on.

“My mile time has always been better than his has,” Kyle said, finally letting a smirk spread across his face.

“I’ve got no shot,” Chris said, laughing. “I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have no shot, as far as running goes. Maybe, maybe the 100 meter sprint, but anything over 100 meters, he’s got it.”

As the two Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts make the start on their second UFC contracts, don’t be surprised to see them in more high-profile fights, starting with Chris as he faces off against Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night on December 18th.

But whether it’s Chris or Kyle you see making the walk to the Octagon, the other won’t be far behind in tow. It’s been this way for 11 years, and it’s probably not going to change anytime soon.