Modestas Bukauskas knows he is fighting for his UFC job on Saturday at UFC Vegas 36.
Bukauskas is set to fight Khalil Rountree in an initruing matchup. When Bukauskas got the message that this was his fight, it was an immediate yes as he says Rountree is an idol to him.
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“Extremely excited. When you get a message from your manager for another matchup you get the goosebumps and the rush of happiness and excitement,” Bukauskas said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Obviously, this time was no different. When I heard it was Khalil Rountree, and being such a big star, for me, he was a bit of an idol or a role model. When I was started out my pro career, he was on The Ultimate Fighter. I remember watching with my dad thinking he was a great fighter. Obviously, when I got that name, it was hell yeah, let’s do this.”
Entering the bout, Modestas Bukauskas is on a two-fight losing streak. He was knocked out by Jimmy Crute and lost a controversial split decision to Michal Oleksiejczuk last time out. Most people thought Bukauskas won, but with the loss, he’s now just 1-2 in the UFC, so the former Cage Warriors champion says he’s fighting for his UFC career on Saturday.
“100 percent. I feel obviously I did have an entertaining fight in my last one. Most people thought I won but at the end of the day, it’s what the result is on paper. The main thing is to put on the best performance ever, the most spectacular performance I have ever put on in my life,” Bukauskas explained. “Go out there and put it all on the line, literally as I said, it’s a win-or-die sort of thing. It’s a very important fight. My back has been up against the wall in my career, so I have been in that situation.”
With his back against the wall, Bukauskas says he is looking forward to the walk as he believes he thrives under pressure.
When he does step into the Octagon, Bukauskas is confident he will not only beat Khalil Rountree but will finish him.
“I’m just looking to wear him down and win this fight by finish,” Bukauskas said. “I need to go out and do something spectacular. It’s a kill-or-be-killed mentality when I’m there. He’s an amazing fighter and someone I’ve looked up to. But, that’s my mentality, I have to go in and finish him.”
If Modestas Bukauskas does finish Rountree in spectacular fashion as he hopes, the goal is to get one more fight in this year. He also believes this is the start of a winning streak and a run up the light heavyweight division.
“We will see what happens, depending on what performance you give and what the matchmakers are thinking anything is possible. If I’m not healthy, then, of course, I’d look to have another one by the end of the year. I want to stay active,” Bukauskas concluded.