Kyle Daukaus’ support system is just one of the many reasons why he’s been able to have success throughout his career. Having a brother that is on the same career path always adds a little extra push, as well.
“Everybody realizes now that we don’t just have a goal to be in the UFC; we want to be world champions, so they’re behind us, supporting us,” Daukaus said ahead of his bout against Roman Dolidze. “It’s what we need. Days I don’t feel like going to the gym, my brother is on me about it, my wife is on me about it, and it’s great to have a good support system behind you to achieve those goals.”
The middleweight has had a mixed bag of results in his last few fights, with a loss against Phil Hawes, a no contest with Kevin Holland and then finally a jump back into the win column with an impressive first-round submission of Jamie Pickett back in February.
Daukaus left his fight with Pickett injury free and went right back to work. He spent the last 10 to 12 weeks in training camp, specifically focusing on boxing. Focusing on the basics of jiu-jitsu and MMA is something that he and his brother, heavyweight contender Chris, believe in.
“My coach hired a boxing coach to come in and I started doing privates with him, so I did a lot of work with him, and my hand speed feels really great,” Daukaus said. “I’m excited to get out there and show it.”
The Philadelphia native knows that a few more impressive wins could put him right where he needs to be.
“I feel like I’m right outside the cusp of the ranked guys,” Daukaus said. “If they were to rank between 16 and 25, I would be there, but I think Dolidze is right there, as well, so it’s going to be a good matchup. I think I match up well against him.”
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Dolidze is coming into the bout with a 9-1 record with his lone professional loss coming against Trevin Giles in March 2021. It’s been over a year since Dolidze has been in the Octagon after he won a unanimous decision victory over Laureano Staropoli last June.
Daukaus and Holland were set to rematch last November, but after Holland withdrew due to injury, Dolidze stepped in to take the fight. The bout ended up getting scratched due to COVID-19 issues in Dolidze’s camp.
“I think he’s a tough opponent,” Daukaus said. “He’s very good, but I do think that I am better at all aspects of the game. He’s very good at the basics and those guys are the most dangerous because they are very comfortable in positions that they’ve been throughout their career.”
Daukaus is a submission specialist, recording nine of his 11 wins by submission. On the other hand, Dolidze has never been submitted or knocked out in his career.
Of course, like many fighters, Daukaus is seeking the finish. But this time around, he plans on switching his game plan up and sticking to the basics, which is what he knows best.
“He does struggle a little bit on the feet, and I plan on working that, as opposed to being a grappler this fight,” Daukaus said. “I’m going to go out there and let my striking speak for itself.”
When asked what the rest of 2022 could look like, many fighters are solely focused on what is in front of them come Saturday night. The same goes for Daukaus, but he knows what the end goal is, and that’s to get into the rankings and become a champion.
With the support behind him and with the skills he holds, he feels ready for Saturday’s test against Dolidze and anything that may come after that.
“As far as goals, obviously just win on Saturday and just keep winning. It’s going to be good, and I think by the end of the year I’ll be ranked in the Top 15.”
UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Emmett, took place on Saturday, June 18, 2022, live from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!