One to Watch at UFC Vegas 59: Zac Pauga

Zac Pauga (5-0) is a three-sport pro athlete who can win UFC’s Ultimate Fighter if he can capture win number six. After a four-year career in NFL and one with PRO Rugby, Pauga found MMA at age 28. Now the 34-year-old sits on the verge of the TUF Heavyweight trophy if he can stop Mohammed Usman (7-2).

Pauga was born in Denver, Colorado in 1988. He was raised in a Samoan family and weekends revolved around rugby games. Seeing more of a future in football, Zac Pauga made the switch and was a running back for Colorado State. He was good enough to earn a practice squad spot with the Houston Texans, but in four years never suited up for a game. In 2016, Pauga transitioned back to his first love of Rugby. He played one year with the Denver Stampede before the entire league, PRO Rugby, folded.

Zac then used his criminal justice degree to become a police officer, however, he soon realized life without sports wasn’t for him. He followed a friend into an MMA gym and after his first class, he was hooked. Five amateur and five pro wins later, “The Ripper” looks like an intriguing Heavyweight prospect. He might not have the size, but in the changing landscape at 265 lbs., speed is becoming most important.

Zac’s opponent Mohammed Usman is UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru’s younger brother by two years. Kamaru was actually an Ultimate Fighter champion as well in 2015. Zac Pauga aims to spoil the Usman family’s weekend and earn that TUF trophy Saturday, 8/6, at UFC Vegas 59.

Zac “The Ripper” Pauga | 5-0 | 6’0 265 lbs. | Age 34 | Reach 76” | Orthodox Stance | Fighting Out of Denver, Colorado

Check out our highlights on fellow UFC Vegas 59 fighters >

Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill

Vicente “The Silent Assassin” Luque

Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal

Terrance “T.Wrecks” McKinney

Takashi “Ten” Sato

Bryan “Pooh Bear” Battle

Miranda “Danger” Granger

Follow Zac Pauga on Twitter > @ZacPauga

Follow Tap In on Twitter > @TapInUFC

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