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Zac Pauga expected to face Mohammed Usman in ‘TUF’ final: ‘He knows I’m better than him’

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LAS VEGAS – Zach Pauga as well as Mohammed Usman had a history prior to joining Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter.

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The pair will fight for the TUF 30 heavyweight crown at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 40 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The map airs on ESPN and airs on ESPN+.

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Pauga (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) says he and Usman (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) trained together before the show, so he wasn’t surprised to see him reach the final. However, Pauga is confident that he will overpower him when they fight.

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“I actually know Mohammed very well,” Pauga told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC on Wednesday media day ESPN 40. “We trained together for two years before the show and we are on the same team for the show. He’s super explosive and super strong, so at heavyweight he has what every heavyweight has. He can extinguish your light at any second.

“I knew that this would be the final. The first day we were both accepted into the show, I knew it would be, unless they made us fight each other on the show. And that knowledge, in my opinion, favors me, because I know how fast he is, I know how strong he is, and that’s what he brings to the game. He knows I’m better than him and he can’t do anything about it.”

All of Paugi’s fights prior to TUF 30 were in the light heavyweight division, so he doesn’t see any heavyweights for the foreseeable future. But if he wins the show, he plans to take down certain heavyweights before going back down.

“There are a lot of heavyweights that were signed during COVID that I would really like to beat and I don’t think they are very good,” Pauga said. “But when I say I want to be UFC champion, I mean light heavyweight champion.

“I’ll give you their names right now: Parker Porter, Jake Collier. They were lucky they had fights when COVID was on and they just needed someone to show up and fight. And after I beat Mohammed, I’d like to come and beat those guys.”

To learn more about the card, visit the MMA Junkie event center to UFC on ESPN 40.

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The story originally appeared on MMA Junkie.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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