Zac Pauga used his stronger clinch game to control much of his fight against Jordan Wright tonight at UFC Fight Night 219 to secure a unanimous decision victory.
Pauga looking to pressure and lands a jab. Wright with a kick attempt and Pauga then drives into the clinch against the cage.
Pauga with a nice elbow. He lands a few knees to the thigh too. Now another elbow, harder this time. He goes for that again and Wright protests mildly about a potential eyepoke but seems ok.
More close range elbows from Pauga. Knees being exchanged to the midsection. Pauga attempting a trip but doesn’t pay off. More knees back and forth and then one strays to the groin of Wright and forces a brief stoppage.
They restart from the same clinch position. Back to exchanging knees. Now an elbow strike from Pauga that opens up a significant cut on Wright’s forehead. Another one lands now and Wright’s face is quickly becoming a crimson mask. Pauga with a few more strikes to end the round.
Jab for Pauga. Now a right hand gets through. He lands an overhand and presses Wright into the cage. Wright throwing light punches and a knee. Knee for Pauga to the body too. They move away from the cage and Wright tries a trip that doesn’t pay off.
Now at striking range and Pauga attempts a head kick. Wright grinning but it’s not been his fight so far.
Pauga back into the clinch against the cage again as he continues to employ his grinding strategy. Bit of a lull in the action and then Pauga lands a heavy series of right elbows to the head.
Wright attempts a spinning elbow that misses and Pauga remains in the clinch. Now much happening. Final minute of the round and Pauga digs into a double leg attempt but quickly gives up on it. Wright turns him into the cage but then goes back to striking range.
Not for long though as Pauga quickly moves straight into the clinch again. Pauga throws off another series of heavy elbows and Wright attempts to fire back in the final seconds of the round without much success.
Pauga throws out a left and right hand and eats a counter. Body kick from Wright. Body punch from Pauga. He lands another to the midsection.
Body kick from Pauga now and Wright throws one of his own in response. Wright misses a jab and Pauga lands his own. Pauga goes to the body with a punch.
Big punch from Pauga puts Wright onto the mat for a moment, but he gets straight back up and seems ok.
Pauga lands another nice punch. Body kick for Wright. He lands one to the other side and Pauga goes into the clinch and pushes him into the cage.
Knees exchanged in the clinch. Wright able to turn and then break free. 90 seconds to go.
Left hand for Pauga. Body kick for Wright. Overhand right from Pauga. Spinning kick from Wright misses. He tries a head kick too that’s blocked.
Body kick from Wright. Kick from Pauga but eats a grazing punch as he does so. Kick from Wright is caught by Pauga, but he can’t get a takedown off it and that’s the final action of the fight.
Pauga was willing to embrace the grind from the clinch for much of the fight here to ensure he emerges with a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).