Modestas Bukauskas is again within the UFC because of a short-notice alternative in Australia.
Bukauskas (13-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) will tackle Tyson Pedro (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in lower than three weeks at UFC 284 in Perth. His administration group introduced the matchup on Twitter late Wednesday.
Bukauskas will step in for Mingyang Zhang (16-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who was set to make his promotional debut after the Street to the UFC collection in China.
UFC 284 takes place Feb. 11 (Feb. 12 in Australia) at RAC Enviornment in Perth. The principle card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
🚨 #TeamIridium Battle Information 🚨
It is Comeback Season for our man @balticgladiator as he makes his extremely anticipated return to the @ufc’s Octagon vs. Tyson Pedro on Feb. 12 ✍🏽 #TheDarkside pic.twitter.com/N9ZGAUxAHd
— IridiumSportsAgency (@TeamIridiumISA) January 26, 2023
Bukauskas, a 28-year-old England-based Lithuanian, received his UFC debut in July 2020 with a TKO in opposition to Andreas Michailidis. However then he hit a big-time droop with three straight losses to Jimmy Crute, Michal Oleksiejczuk and Khalil Rountree.
Bukauskas discovered himself outdoors the UFC after that, and after a 14-month layoff, he picked up a win over Lee Chadwick at Cage Warriors 145. That victory was sufficient to get a vacant mild heavyweight title struggle in opposition to Chuck Campbell this previous New Yr’s Eve. Bukauskas received the belt with a fourth-round knockout.
Australia’s Pedro returned to the UFC in April 2022 after a layoff of about 40 months. After three losses in 4 fights to Ilir Latifi, Ovince Saint Preux and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Pedro was inactive from late 2018 till his return with a TKO win over Ike Villanueva.
This previous August, the 31-year-old made it two straight within the first roundn when he took out Harry Hunsucker with a 65-second TKO at UFC 278. Now he’ll go after three in a row in opposition to a promotional newcomer.
With the addition, the UFC 284 lineup now contains:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski – for light-weight title
Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett – for interim featherweight title
Randy Brown vs. Jack Della Maddalena
Parker Porter vs. Justin Tafa
Jimmy Crute vs. Alonzo Menifield
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
Modestas Bukauskas vs. Tyson Pedro
Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Josh Culibao
Kleydson Rodrigues vs. Shannon Ross
Jamie Mullarkey vs. Francisco Prado
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)
Jack Jenkins vs. Don Shainis
Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs. TBA
Loma Lookboonmee vs. Elise Reed
Blake Bilder vs. Shane Younger
Elves Brenner vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 284.