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Compact and powerful for the middleweight class, Nchukwi is still a work in progress as a mixed martial artist, but thus far, the work has been impressive.

In addition to brandishing heavy hands, he showcased a sound understanding of how to work effectively in the clinch against Pickett, attacking with knees and foot sweeps every time they tied up. Mix in solid takedown defense, improving offensive grappling, and great speed and athleticism and it’s clear why people forecast a high ceiling for Nchukwi once his experience catches up with his explosiveness.

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This weekend, the 26-year-old looks to maintain his unblemished record when he takes on “The Iron Turtle,” Junyong Park, who has rebounded from his debut loss to Anthony Hernandez with consecutive victories over Marc-Andre Barriault and John Phillips.

There was a great deal of hype surrounding Nchukwi coming off the Contender Series and it has likely only grown following his debut win, so it will be interesting to see what “Da Don” can do as an encore this weekend in Las Vegas.

KYLE DAUKAUS

Initially slated to make his 2021 debut last month, Kyle Daukaus finally gets to step back into the Octagon this weekend opposite Phil Hawes in a compelling clash of middleweight upstarts.

The former CFFC standout and Contender Series veteran made his promotional debut last summer, battling tooth-and-nail with Brendan Allen over the course of three rounds, landing on the wrong end of the result while giving a good accounting of himself. Just under five months later, Daukaus was back in the Octagon, collecting a unanimous decision victory of his own over Dustin Stoltzfus to get back in the win column and push his record to 10-1 overall.

Much like his fight with Allen, the 28-year-old got better as the fight progressed, upping his striking output and distancing himself further from Stoltzfus with each passing round.


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