He would no longer fight in a mixed martial arts fight for almost two years.
“There was a lot to change that the losses helped highlight,” said Bukauskas. “Looking back, I’m actually very thankful for the stockings I’ve experienced. There were a lot of difficult situations that I had to go through, but that’s what has necessarily led me so well now. “
But to go back up, there were even more weather slowdowns. Bukauskas returned to Louisiana, not only to see his girlfriend at the time, but to train and straighten his head. One day he threw a circular kick that he had probably thrown thousands of times in his life, but this time it resulted in a torn meniscus. All eyes were on him again.
“His whole family has turned their back on me,” said Bukauskas of his then girlfriend. Then she asked that question.
“How long are you going to keep fighting this fight?”
“I will do it until I am UFC champion. Nothing can stop me. “
After five years together, that was it. But he also lost a sponsor which allowed him to train full time. Bukauskas returned to London.
“I had no money, no work, an injured leg, lost a girlfriend, lost a sponsor,” he said. “And I was sitting in my room saying to myself,” What am I going to do with my life? “”
It was then that he had the clearest thought to date. He was a fighter. He was going to fight.
“That’s when I really had to start rebuilding everything,” said Bukauskas, who decided to go from middleweight to lightweight. When he became healthy, his father put him in the ring with professional boxers, which raised a mental obstacle that seemed to him embarrassed before.
“I learned that I have to go and hurt these people and not just win,” he said. “When you have the mindset you just won, I don’t think it’s enough because there is a level of aggression that has to be put in there, and if you don’t have it, you won’t go not far away . “
His circle of friends and family got even closer, then …
“Things started to improve slowly.”
Bukauskas took a kickboxing fight that he won in the first round, and in March 2018 he was back on the Cage Warriors cards. And he hasn’t tasted defeat since, going 6-0 with six finishes, a stretch that also earned him the title of 205 pounds of promotion.
This success made him think of a contract with the UFC, but he assumed he should win one through Dana White’s Contender series. It was great with him, but at 1 a.m. one night / morning in mid-January, Bukauskas received a text from manager Jason House. At 3 a.m. for a trip to the bathroom, he decided to make the call to California.
“What do you think of the fights at the UFC?” asked House.
“What? Not at all,” replied Bukauskas, who continued the answer “not at all” for a little longer.
“I was going crazy,” he laughs. “I literally said ‘no way’ like a parrot for the next minute. I was stunned. “
But he was on the carpet. And it would no longer be possible to go back to bed after that.
“There was no way I was going to sleep on this news,” said Bukauskas, who told his proud father a few hours later.
“He had the most cheesy smile you could imagine. He smiled like a Cheshire cat from ear to ear. It was as if he expected it. “
Oh yeah, it’s been a crazy road, okay. All that’s left is for Bukauskas to show his wares in the Octagon, a time he plans to arrive this summer. In the meantime, he is working, he is preparing and he is preparing to show who he is.
“We have to keep working hard and trying to improve ourselves,” he said. “I’m looking to really make a statement to the UFC and finally show my full potential.”
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