UFC Fight Night Usman vs Pauga Picks and Predictions: The Motor Stalls Out

Not only should this be a good fight, but the winner of Ultimate Fighter season 30 will be crowned. There is a lot to look forward to in this bout, but who will win? Find out in our UFC betting predictions for Usman vs. Pauga.

Last Updated: Aug 4, 2022 10:12 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
UFC Octagon
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Zac Pauga vs. Mohammed Usman is scheduled for 3 rounds in the heavyweight division, and not only serves as a featured undercard bout of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night card, but the final bout of The Ultimate Fighter season 30. Championship blood runs through Usman’s veins, but he’ll have to hope his brother’s finesse rubs off on him as Pauga is primed for a big night.

Pauga is hoping to continue his impressive run, as UFC odds have him pegged as a -245 favorite. The physically imposing Usman may be the true heavyweight of the two, but is a +205 underdog nonetheless.

Let's check out our Usman vs. Pauga picks and predictions

Usman vs Pauga fight odds

Live odds courtesy of Betway

Usman vs Pauga method of victory odds

Method of Victory Mohammed Usman Zac Pauga
To win by KO/TKO +500 +200
To win by Points +650 +165
To win by Submission +1,000 +700
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook on August 4, 2022.

Usman vs Pauga picks

Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Usman vs Pauga betting preview

If the added pressure of fighting for a UFC contract wasn’t enough stress, Usman has to deal with everyone wondering how he’ll look with his brother, Kamaru, at ringside. The savagely strong Usman is raw, but he carries advantages in height, natural size, and power. His path to Pauga involved closely contested wins over Mitchell Sipe and Eduardo Perez.

Blow for blow, Usman will have an advantage. His strikes are clubbing in nature, but when coupled with his size and the added bonus of refining his skills with the pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport, he’ll be ready for this critical showdown.

The one thing that stood out for Pagua, perhaps the least experienced fighter on the show, was his ability to take direction and show off active improvement in his two bouts. The former Colorado State running back is naturally athletic and agile, moving up from light heavyweight just to compete in the tournament. He scored wins over Nyle Bartling and Jordan Heiderman for the rights to face Usman in the finals.

With crisp striking and solid footwork, he has emerged as a breakout star. His opponents were unable to deal with his speed and he showed his strength by scoring takedowns as well. For a fighter that started at 205, he’ll always be undersized, but he fights to his strengths and isn’t facing an opponent who might be able to capitalize on that weakness.

This fight pits one fighter looking to win with activity against another that wants to end it in one shot. We get the feeling that the longer it takes for Usman to get set and engage, Pauga will use his athleticism and quicker combinations to get a lead. Once these two plant their feet and try to engage, it becomes a true 50/50 fight.

Usman vs Pauga tale of the tape

Mohammed Usman   Zac Pauga
33 Age 34
6-foot-2 Height 6-feet
239 lbs Weight 205 lbs
79 inches Reach N/A
8-2 (3 KOs) Record 6-0 (2 KOs)

Usman vs Pauga UFC prediction and best bet

Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the fighters and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this bout.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this fight or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.

For the little we’ve seen, it’s easy to see why Pagua is favored to win this one. His faster hand speed and apparent toughness makes him the flashier fighter, and he doesn’t make the kind of mistakes that get him into big trouble. Usman might be strong, but he’s shown to be a frontrunner and must land his heavy artillery early.

Pauga has the speed of a light heavyweight and can deliver big shots in a pinch. While he’d be poorly suited to engage in a slugfest, Usman tends to telegraph his strikes and doesn’t tuck his chin in at times. If Pauga is in range to counter — and I think he will be — he could land a shot to fell the big man and open up some opportunities on the ground. 

We’re liking Pauga to strike and move all night, leaving the elder Usman brother in the dust.

Prediction: Pauga moneyline (-245 at DraftKings)

Pauga has the ability to beat Usman, but I don’t feel that he’ll have the power to stop him. At the same time, he can’t get too loose in the pocket, especially as all Usman needs is one clear shot or a single takedown to end the fight. 

The best bet here is that Pauga sets a good pace and uses his agility to outwork Usman, building a lead on points in the later rounds. Because of the potential for some late fight dramatics, we’re going to take this fight going Over 2.5 rounds at -115 as our pick for the fight.

Pick: Over 2.5 rounds (-115 at DraftKings)

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