In one job, he keeps the peace.
In the other one, he brings the pain.
Chris Daukaus has spent the last 10 years working as a Philadelphia police officer. He patrols the 24th district in North Philly. It’s a job he loves and a job where he does his best to keep the area safe.
But when he sheds the uniform and puts on his fighting gear, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Daukaus, a 2007 graduate of North Catholic High School and Parkwood resident, is also a mixed martial artist. And this summer, he took a huge step in that career.
Fighting on 10-days notice, Daukaus made his UFC debut and knocked out Parker Porter in the first round of a fight during a UFC Fight Night card on Aug. 15.
Daukaus, a heavyweight, was preparing to fight in the Cage Fury Fighting Championships when he got the call for an opportunity to fight in the highest MMA league in the world.
It was just one of many calls he fielded over the summer.
“When the fight was over, my phone seized, so many people were calling me,” Daukaus said. “I was getting phone calls, text messages, people were tagging me on social media. The support was great. I had over 200 texts and 150 messages on Facebook and Instagram.
“It was a pretty good start. A first-round knockout was the perfect way to start my UFC career. You don’t get much better than that.”
Daukaus made quick work of his opponent, stopping him with punches and knees to the face, but the road to making the UFC was anything but easy.
He’s been training at Semper Fi Mixed Martial Arts in Fox Chase and now fights out of Martinez BJJ in Mayfair.
Now every day before he reports to work, he trains. It’s not easy, but he’s happy to have a great partner, his brother Kyle.
Earlier this summer, Kyle did the same thing his older brother did. He accepted a fight on 10 days notice in the UFC, and while he didn’t win, he put on a terrific showing.
“I was in his corner when he fought and he was in my corner when I fought,” said Daukaus, who played lacrosse at North. “It helped me going there earlier because it gave me a chance to see everything that goes on. I knew what to expect.
“We are our biggest fans and supporters. I loved watching him fight and I’m sure he loved watching me. We’re there for each other. We always support each other.”
Daukaus has plenty of support, but in the cage, it’s just him. And he’s been very successful.
After going 3-0 as an amateur fighter, the Mayfair native joined the pro ranks, fighting primarily for CFFC before getting the call to fight for the UFC. With the UFC win, he improved to 10-3. In his last eight fights, he’s won seven of them. But none were bigger than his victory in UFC. That will open up more opportunities for him down the line.
In fact, he’s currently in talks to have another fight in the near future, so he didn’t get a lot of time to bask in the glory of his first win. And he was back to work a few days after the win.
“It was really a dream, when you get to the UFC, you know it’s not going to get easier,” Daukaus said. “I love doing it. I’ve been doing it close to 10 years, and you’re always waiting for that opportunity. When you get it, you just have to keep working.”
Daukaus has a great team to work with.
He credits his brother for helping him, and also attributes his success to coaches Will Martinez, Jesus Martinez and Stephen Haigh.
Then there are those who help him away from training.
Like his brother Kyle, he loves the support he gets from his family, especially his mom.
Then there’s his wife, Kelly, who has been the best support system anyone could have.
“She was around before I started fighting and she’s so supportive of it,” Daukaus said. “She’s a great wife of a fighter and a great wife for a cop. She loves (fighting), and she couldn’t be more supportive of everything I do. That means a lot.”
Daukaus still has a lot of work to do to get to the mountain top. A victory in his UFC debut was a great start, but he fully intends to get better, which means bigger and tougher fights down the line.
He’s also fighting to make sure people don’t get the wrong idea about police.
Police have been heavily criticized this summer for a few incidents. While none of those incidents have been in Philadelphia, they haven’t been immune to the protests and, at times, angry outbursts from critics.
Daukaus just wants to do his job and make sure all the people in his district are safe.
“There’s a narrative out there, it’s on both sides, but we’re just trying to do our job to keep people safe,” Daukaus said. “I love being a cop and I love being a fighter. They’re two very different things, but I love both jobs.”
Daukaus is in a great position with two jobs he loves. And two jobs he’s good at.
Obviously, to fight at the highest level in the world and working as an officer isn’t easy, but he’s never been afraid to work for what he wants.
“It’s a long day, working out and then going to work, but it’s what you have to do,” Daukaus said. “It helps that I have so many people helping me, with great coaches and a great family.
“I just want to keep getting better. Keep getting ready for the next fight.”
And maybe get a new cellphone to get all of his accolades.