Modestas Bukauskas is back in the UFC thanks to a brief opportunity in Australia.
Bukauskas (13-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) takes on Tyson Pedro (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) at UFC 284 in Perth in less than three weeks. His management team announced the matchup Twitter Wednesday late.
Bukauskas replaces Mingyang Zhang (16-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who was set to make his promotional debut following the Road to the UFC series in China.
UFC 284 takes place on February 11 (February 12 in Australia) at the RAC Arena in Perth. The main card airs on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
🚨 #TeamIridium Fight News 🚨
— IridiumSportsAgency (@TeamIridiumISA) January 26, 2023
Bukauskas, a 28-year-old Lithuanian from England, won his UFC debut in July 2020 with a TKO against Andreas Michailidis. But then he hit a major slump with three consecutive losses against Jimmy Crute, Michal Oleksiejczuk and Khalil Rountree.
Bukauskas found himself out of the UFC after that, and after a 14-month layoff, he picked up a win over Lee Chadwick at Cage Warriors 145. That win was enough to land a vacant light heavyweight title fight against Chuck Campbell last New Year’s Eve. . Bukauskas won the title with a fourth-round knockout.
Pedro of Australia returned to the UFC in April 2022 after a layoff of approximately 40 months. After three losses in four fights against Ilir Latifi, Ovince Saint Preux and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Pedro was inactive from late 2018 until his return with a TKO victory over Ike Villanueva.
Last August, the 31-year-old made it to the first round twice in a row when he knocked out Harry Hunsucker with a 65-second TKO at UFC 278. Now he’s going down against a promotional newcomer after three straight runs.
With the addition, the UFC 284 lineup now includes:
MAIN MAP (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Champ Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski – for lightweight 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 MAP (ESPN, ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
- Modestas Bukauskas v Tyson Pedro
- Melsik Baghdasaryan vs Josh Culibao
- Kleydson Rodrigues v Shannon Ross
- Jamie Mullarkey vs Francisco Prado
PRELIMINARY MAP (ESPN+, 6pm ET)
- Jack Jenkins vs Don Shainis
- Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs. TBA
- Loma Lookboonmee vs Elise Reed
- Blake Bilder to Shane Young
- Elves Brenner against Zubaira Tukhugov
For more information on the card, visit the MMA Junkie events hub for UFC 284.