Modestas Bukauskas returns to the UFC after two wins in Cage Warriors, against Tyson Pedro. The Lithuanian Bukauskas will have to meet Pedro in his own backyard in Australia, as UFC 284 takes place in Perth.
While away Bukauskas most recently won the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight title by knocking out Chuck Campbell in the fourth round. Pedro likewise will be coming off of a finish, his against the likes of Harry Hunsucker in August when he TKO’d the American in under two minutes.
Pedro will take home-field advantage as he comes in as the decently sized favorite in Australia.
- Tyson Pedro: -277
- Modestas Bukauskas: +206
Tyson Pedro is a very imposing fighter, as he is both confident but also disciplined. Due to his size, he is very effective at standing in a tall stance using his reach to hand fight and maintain range control. His low kicks and teeps draw out awkward counters from his opponents as they try to find a way through and into the pocket, at which point he lands his own combinations in tight. His boxing is particularly sharp and fast, and especially tight. Look out for his check-left hook and his 1-2 down the pipe. His stabbing thrust kick is also a deadly weapon.
In terms of his grappling game, Pedro definitely prefers to contest the fight on his feet. However, he is big and powerful on top and his power translates easily to tenacious ground and pound. In the bottom position, he has a signature kimura sweep off his back but if he is unable to hit the roll, he can be smothered and lose out rounds stuck on his back.
Compared to Tyson’s Thai kicks and tight boxing, Baukaskas fights more like an American kickboxer. He will utilize flashier spinning kicks and back fists and has a tricky question mark kick as well. His wider stance allows him to lunge into his strikes, particularly his jab which can come at a good distance away and carry power on it.
Expect Pedro to take the center of the cage and try to cut Bukauskas off as he skirts the outside. He will have to get past the jab and kicking game to box inside and so his teeps and low kicks will be key. Both men will likely be looking to keep the fight standing, but if one finds herself a step behind that is who will likely shoot first.
Prediction and Betting Guide
I don’t see Bukauskas hurting Pedro enough to stop him from cutting off the cage and finding his way in. I think the pressure and power of Pedro pay off when he gets in the pocket and wares down Bukauskas’s body.
Pick: Tyson Pedro to win (-277)