The UFC 284 Prelims come to a close with this featured bout in the Light Heavyweight (205lb) Division. Aussie Tyson Pedro will face off against Lithuania’s Modestas Bukauskas. Both fighters can crack and will be looking to stand-and-bang in the center of the octagon. Don’t miss this fight as the main card follows immediately after! Check out our UFC odds series for our Pedro-Bukauskas prediction and pick.
Tyson Pedro comes into this contest with a 9-3 record overall and 5-3 with his time in the UFC. After dropping two fights, including one to the aging legend Shogun Rua, Tyson Pedro has won his last two fights by devastating TKO and will be looking to deliver again in front of his home crowd. Pedro has heavy hands and a sneaky good jiu-jitsu game for someone his size. He’ll have a willing opponent in Bukauskas on Saturday. Tyson Pedro stands 6’3″ with a 79-inch reach.
Modestas Bukauskas is 13-5 in his professional career. Prior to his last UFC fight, Bukauskas was 1-2 in the UFC. In his fight against Khalil Roundtree, Bukauskas got his knee torn up by and front kick to the leg, which resulted in a loss and eventual surgery for Bukauskas. During his time off, Bukauskas went over to fight for Cage Warriors where he notched two impressive victories and showed that he belongs back in the UFC. He’ll be getting a second chance here tonight against Pedro. Modestas Bukauskas stands 6’3″ with a 78-inch reach.
Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
UFC 284 Odds: Tyson Pedro-Modestas Bukauskas Odds
Tyson Pedro: -245
Modestas Bukauskas: +200
Over (1.5) rounds: -144
Under (1.5) rounds: +114
How to Watch Tyson Pedro vs. Modestas Bukauskas
Stream: ESPN app, UFC Fight Pass
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT (Prelims)
*Watch sports LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Tyson Pedro Will Win
Tyson Pedro has a physical skill-set that many wish they had at light heavyweight. He’s big enough to stand with anyone in the division and his sharp jiu-jistu may come as a surprise to many. Pedro has been able to win all three ways in his time with the UFC. He’s also shown his immaturity in the octagon, losing fights by getting caught in submissions or coming in too quick and getting clocked. The prospect from Australia continues to improve, however, and will highlight a new, young crop of fighters coming from the land down under.
Tyson Pedro will have to be especially patient against his opponent Modestas Bukauskas. Bukauskas has had some time away from the UFC and will have added motivation to perform in this one. Pedro will have to be extra cautious not to dart in too quickly and risk getting hit by his opponent. Pedro will have to advantage on the ground, so look for him to seek the takedown once things get shaky on the ground. If Pedro can be patient and let Bukauskas come to him, he should be able to land the singular knockout blow he needs to win.
Why Modestas Bukauskas Will Win
Modestas Bukauskas got his knee destroyed by a kick in his last fight. The injury resulted in a lengthy rehab, in which Bukauskas used the Cage Warriors promotion to have two warm-up fights before heading back to the UFC to avenge his previous record. This will truly be a “do or die” position for Bukauskas as he risks going 1-5 in the UFC with a loss here. Look for him to have the added motivation of a come back in this one.
Bukauskas has a great set of skills and is a talented striker in this division. He uses his jab to break through the guard of his opponent and does a great job circling to the outside with this feet. The problem for Bukauskas in the past has been his output. When he’s not throwing strikes, he’s often standing around waiting for his opponent to do something. He’ll have no time to wait against Pedro, as his opponent will begin looking for his chin from the final bell. Bukauskas has to be particularly cautious against Pedro and pick his shots correctly to have a chance in this one.
Final Tyson Pedro-Modestas Bukauskas Prediction & Pick
This is an especially tough spot for Modestas Bukauskas to have his return fight to the UFC. Tyson Pedro is a tough opponent who seems to be getting better each time he’s in the octagon. I think the UFC really likes Pedro and the style he brings, so I think they’re doing everything they can to build him up. While Bukauskas is a worthy opponent, this seems set up to be the Tyson Pedro show. Let’s look for him to get the KO in this one.
Final Tyson Pedro-Modestas Bukauskas Prediction & Pick: Tyson Pedro (-245); by KO/TKO (+180)