Pedro made six appearances in his first 25 months in the UFC, going 3-3 while showing plenty of positive flashes for someone early in his career as he was back then. . While he was outmatched by more seasoned foes, the affable and engaging light heavyweight looked like someone who could enjoy a long tenure in the Top 15, and who could well become a contender as he acquires more experience and continued to improve.
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A string of injuries sidelined Pedro for more than three years, turning him from a developmental talent worth watching into a big bundle of question marks as he made his return to action in 2022. But after a pair of impressive efforts, it’s time to once again consider the 31-year-old all-action finisher someone to watch closely in the 205-pound weight class.
In April, Pedro ended his sabbatical by stopping Ike Villanueva in the dying seconds of the opening frame, and four months later at UFC 278 he made quick work of Harry Hunsucker. Although he was heavily favored in both matchups, the fact that Pedro got into the Octagon and went about his business fairly quickly after such a long layoff is the piece that matters here, as it showed that he was back to full health and once again becoming an intriguing figure. in the division.
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Originally slated to face Chinese prospect Zhang Mingyang, Pedro will face the return of Modestas Bukauskas, who has picked up a pair of wins and won the Cage Warriors light heavyweight title since being released by the UFC following his loss to Khalil Rountree. Jr. in September. 4, 2021.
It’s the right kind of test for the Pedro at this stage of his comeback – a date with a skilled, experienced and hungry opponent who should be able to push him and force him to be his best in order to ensure a victory. He’s looked exceptional in his last two starts, and if that continues in his return to competition in front of a fan crowd this weekend, the megawatt-smiling Aussie light heavyweight could find himself in the Top 15 and take to again the “designation of potential candidate in the future.