This is another Usman spending his day in the Octagon


On a night when none of the 10 fights went to the scorecards, it somehow seems fitting that one of the stars of the night was a guy with the last name Usman.

Kamaru Usman is the UFC welterweight champion, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and one of the greatest MMA fighters in history.

His younger brother, Mohammed, doesn’t have his reputation or fame, but he made a bit of history on Saturday. He knocked out Zac Pauga, a former member of the Houston Texans practice squad, 36 seconds into the second round at Apex in Las Vegas to win the heavyweight division on season 30 of “The Ultimate Fighter “. In the process, the Usmans became the first set of brothers to win the TUF.

Kamaru Usman, who won Season 21 at welterweight in 2015, was in his younger brother’s corner on Saturday. Mohammed Usman’s last name may have helped get him into the TUF cast, but once he got there, he created his own hit.

With former WBC heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder watching from ringside, Mohammed Usman cracked Pauga with a left hook to the chin to end things early.

It earned him a UFC contract three years after the tragic death of his 3-year-old son, Nash, who accidentally drowned.

“It means the world to me” to win TUF for his son, Usman said. “He means the world to me and he’s the reason I’m here now. Don’t get me wrong, man. I could sit here and tell you it’s easy, but it’s not. I hurt every day of my life. I’m in pain right now, sitting here talking about it. I know he wants me to have a good life. He wants me to take care of my children that I will have in the future [as well as] my current children. He wants me to be a blessing to them.

“It’s the #1 thing. I’m just trying to be the best dad I can be and show my kids, and my future kids, that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish in this world. if you think about it.

He existed in his brother’s shadow for much of this time, working diligently while serving as Kamaru’s hype man for his fights. But he decided to win the TUF and win a contract with the UFC and he did it in a big way.

Mohammed Usman of Nigeria prepares to fight Zac Pauga in a heavyweight bout at UFC Fight Night at Apex on August 6, 2022 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Mohammed Usman put on a show on Saturday, but he wasn’t the only one. Each of the 10 fights ended in a finish, only the second time in UFC history.

Geoff N.eal overcomes second-round slowness, coach angry

Geoff Neal was brilliant in the first round of his welterweight fight with Vicente Luque. Neal landed 52 important strikes in round one, shaking Luque repeatedly with a straight left hand. Neal was powerful, precise and in control.

But in the second he took his foot off the throttle and it was a more consistent lap. This, he says, is a problem he often has. His trainer at Fortis MMA, Sayif Saud, knew that and let him know after the round. Saud got in Neal’s face during the rest period and bluntly told him to go for it.

“I tend to take off the second lap, especially when I do a tough first lap,” Neal said. “I just say, ‘Let me see if I can get past this lap and come back in the third,’ but that’s just stupid of me.”

Neal hurt Luque with a straight left that sent him into the cage. Neal then threw eight straight left uppercuts before the fight was stopped at 2:01 of the third.

Jamahal Hill reclaims fourth place after an uneven third

Thiago Santos has beaten Jamahal Hill five times in the third round of the main event in a light heavyweight battle. But Hill, who calls Apex “Sweet Dreams Stadium” because of his success there, was undeterred.

He suspected Santos would be tired of the heavy third of the fight, when he knocked Hill down five times in 11 attempts. Hill came out fast in the fourth and hurt Santos.

He dropped it and finished it off with a vicious ground and pound. Referee Herb Dean stopped it at 2:31 of the fourth as Hill hit Santos with his elbows.

“I can’t stop working,” Hill said. “That’s what I learned from my coaches and what I learned from my team, keep working.”

Hill entered the fight ranked 10th at light heavyweight, with Santos sixth. He is hoping for an upcoming title shot against champion Jiri Prochazka, but said if that doesn’t happen he wants former champion Jan Blachowicz, who is No. 2.

Juliana Miller wins TUF flyweight title

Juliana Miller went a perfect 4-for-4 in eliminations on Saturday to top Brogan Walker and win the TUF 30 flyweight title via third-round TKO. She stopped Walker with elbows to the head from the mount at 3:57 on the third and final lap.

It was a dominating performance from Miller, who had 9:40 of control time in the 13:57 of fight time.

Miller landed 54 of his 85 important strikes, connecting at 63%, in addition to the perfect effort on takedowns.

The biggest highlight was bryan Battle KO Headbutt

Former TUF winner Bryan Battle had perhaps the most memorable moment of the night. He needed just 44 seconds to stop Takashi Sato in their fight, knocking Soto out with a kick to the head.

Battle said that in camp, he and his trainers noticed that Sato was vulnerable to headbutting.

“It’s something we had planned,” he said. “I hadn’t seen it happen so soon. It was probably the best strike I have ever thrown.

After the fight, he called out Bryan Barberena and Ian Garry for a fight.

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