Prospect in the Spotlight (Nov 22-23): Modestas Bukauskas

Introduction

Friday, Novemeber 22nd, Lithuanian light heavyweight prospect Modestas Bukauskus will be in action for Cage Warriors, where he will be looking to defend his Cage Warriors title against Riccardo Nosiglia. He will be looking for the victory, as Bukauskus looks to inch closer to a potential UFC contract. He represents Gintas Combat, an unknown camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Kickboxing: According to his Twitter, Bukauskas is a “British Kickboxing Champion.” I, for one, would not be shocked if that were true, as the Lithuanian is a very fun striker to watch. He throws with vicious intention, as he has very good knockout power in his hands. He throws heavy kicks as well. If he’s not able to score the one-shot, one-kill blow, he is highly aggressive when it comes to finishing that dazed opponent on the mat with brutal ground-and-pound. He moves well on the feet and cuts off his opponent against the cage. He’s also very accurate when he throws, which is why he’s able to score the type of damage he does.

Long Fighter: At 6’3″, Bukauskas is a tall light heavyweight that is very long. He has long arms and legs, which helps him strike from a distance and control the standup portion of the fight. he uses his length very well, whether it’s on the mat or on the feet. That said, he is a lean guy. He could definitely put on some weight, especially muscle. As a long fighter, he is able to use his arms to secure chokes more easily. Basically, this young fighter knows his body and uses it well.

Needs Improvement

Ground Intangibles: While Bukauskas does have offensive submission ability, there are things on the ground that need to be touched up. There is some evidence that he has some submission defense deficiencies. His offensive wrestling is something that is lacking as well. His takedown defense isn’t bad, though he hasn’t faced a high-level MMA fighter known for their wrestling. All that considered, he’s not a terrible ground fighter, but there are things he can touch up in the workshop.

Two Bad Losses: In 2016, Bukauskas suffered his only two pro defeats to date, and they were not against world beaters. That’s why I am a little apprehensive about this fighter. He first loss was an 18-second heel hook to European journeyman Pavel Doroftei, which is not a good look. He then followed that loss up with a TKO loss to John Redmond, who was 5-11 at the time. Those losses are hard to ignore, and though Bukauskas is 5-0 since those losses against decent opposition, those losses continue to linger.

Outlook

UFC Curtain Jerker: Bukauskas is just 25 years old right now, so he has a long future in this sport. At some point in his career, especially since the UFC is always in need of light heavyweight talent, he should make the UFC main roster. His two losses still concern me, though, especially as he takes on harder competition. This is especially because the UFC has top-level wrestlers and guys who could exploit the Lithuanians weaknesses. He is definitely a guy I see making multiple appearances on the preliminary cards of the UFC. If he makes rapid improvements to the weaknesses he currently has, he could definitely surpass the expectation that he’ll be a matinee performer.

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