Modestas Bukauskas knows people were surprised when it was revealed he would be fighting Jimmy Crute.
Bukauskas and Crute are two of the best up and coming prospects at light heavyweight and given the need for new blood, many figured they would both fight veterans. However, at UFC Fight Island 6, they will be fighting one another. According to the Lithuanian, it is due to the fact several fighters had turned down Crute so he stepped up to the plate.
“It had to do with a load of different things. A lot of people look at it from my side saying it is a massive step up in competition while from his side people think he should’ve gotten someone higher ranked. At the end of the day, it is about who will put pen to paper. It will be an entertaining fight for everyone,” Bukauskas said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “He said ranked guys have been ducking him and I think the matchmaker was talking to my manager and they gave me that name and I said yeah as I love to have big challenges. He is very talented and a very good fighter, you are going to be fighting great fighters in the UFC. If I am not ready to fight them now then maybe I’m not ready for the UFC.”
When they step into the Octagon, Modestas Bukauskas will have a five and a half inch reach advantage. For the former Cage Warriors light heavyweight champion, he knows that will be a big factor in this fight.
“That is definitely something we have looked into. I’ve always made it a big part of my game to use my range,” he explained. “I won’t give too much away but when you have a sizeable reach advantage there are certain things you can do to negate things he will try to do.”
With the reach advantage in his favor, Modestas Bukauskas expects to be able to control the fight and eventually put Crute away in round two. If he does just that, it will be a betting upset and the 26-year-old knows he would get a ranked opponent next time out.
“100 percent, I am always going out there to finish the fight. I’m going out there to have an explosive performance and I always go out there and think I am going to win by stoppage,” Modestas Bukauskas said. “You want to create a legacy and make yourself entertaining for the fans and give them a show. I’m looking to finish this guy in the first round if I can. He is durable so I think by the second round I will put him away.
“I think a win puts me in the top-15 or at least the top-20. One of my big goals this year was to make it into the top-20 of the UFC in the light heavyweight division and make a big statement,” he later added. “With a big win here I will start being able to call out names in the top-15 and work my way up the ranks. We are all going for the UFC gold.”
Who do you think will win, Modestas Bukauskas or Jimmy Crute?