Zac Pauga wasn’t sure if he would get to make his UFC debut.
Pauga competed on TUF 30 and lost in the finale by KO to Mohammed Usman. Although before the fight, Pauga signed a contract should he win or lose the contest, he still wasn’t guaranteed to get a UFC bout.
“I don’t think there are any guarantees with the UFC. But, I did sign a contract before the fight,” Pauga said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Mohammed and I both signed two contracts, one if you win and one if you lose. I don’t know if they could have shredded it up, but I did have a losers contract in place.”
Once the UFC confirmed he would be getting a fight, he wasn’t sure who he would face. But, when he was offered Jordan Wright, he admits he was surprised for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Pauga is returning to light heavyweight after competing at heavyweight on TUF, this while Wright is moving up to 205lbs after competing at middleweight.
“It is a surprise, it is interesting a guy moving up and a guy moving down both fighting each other,” Pauga said. “We are going to see who makes the right adjustments. Was him cutting a lot of weight hurting his game? Or, was me trying to be the bigger fighter going to help my game?”
Although Zac Pauga was surprised to be facing Jordan Wright at UFC Vegas 69, he is excited about the matchup. He knows Wright is a kill-or-be-killed fighter and will search for the KO early, but Pauga expects his wrestling to lead him to the win.
“Kill-or-be-killed that is what he is. He fights the way Dana wants all of us to fight. That is why they have kept him around,” Pauga said. “He’s a super dangerous fighter and this is the most dangerous part of his career as he’s probably fighting for his job. That means I’m going to get the best Jordan Wright there is and I’m ready for that…
“I’m planning to weather the storm. Show some things that I haven’t been able to show when I was fighting at heavyweight,” Pauga later added. “I want to show my grappling, my ground game. I want to test his cardio to see if the weight cut was really what was making cardio hard for him or not.”
If Pauga does use his wrestling and weather the storm, he’s confident he will end up finishing Wright at UFC Vegas 69. If he does, the plan is to fight as often as possible to get through the TUF contract and work his way up the light heavyweight ranks.
“The last thing people saw of me was losing and getting knocked out,” Pauga concluded. “I have to redeem myself, I have to put my name in a good light. Win this fight and start building some hype behind himself. I have to show everyone who I think I am.”