Mixed martial arts is bringing Modestas Bukauskas closer to his Lithuanian roots.
Bukauskas (11-3) was born in Klaipeda, Lithuania but spent most of his life living in England. "The Baltic Gladiator" is celebrating his culture more and more. Bukauskas spoke with Fightful ahead of his fight vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk at UFC 260 and explained how he rekindled this relationship with his roots
"I've definitely been representing it a lot more as of late. It's a very good thing that my family, we share a very good bond in terms of the heritage that we have," he shared. "There is always that curiosity and that interest. When you're a kid, you're sort of going through the motions. Whatever is presented in front of you, you try to adapt to it as much as possible. I lived in America for two years, I've lived in the U.K. my whole life."
"It was only in the last couple of years, especially when the spotlight is more on you from the country you were born in because you're doing better in sports. Because there was more attention, it brought to my attention that I need to learn more Lithuanian and get closer to my roots. It's something I always wanted to do but I kept putting off," Bukauskas continued. "I've been brought closer to it, I've been doing more interviews and talking to my dad more. It's sparked more interest in speaking my language properly and learning more about my culture."
UFC 260 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 27. The pay-per-view card is headlined by a UFC heavyweight title rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. Keep up with Fightful for all your event-related coverage.