Not an Easy Path at UFC Vegas 57
Carlos Ulberg has made something of a splash with his run in the UFC so far. Being part of the red hot City Kickboxing crew, ‘Black Jag’ is an accomplished kickboxer as well, going 19-2 in that career. Ulberg made it into the UFC with a nasty KO on Dana White’s Contender Series, showing off the kickboxing credentials, and being able to keep the fight at a distance for most of the duration.
He would then make his UFC debut against The “African Savage” Kennedy Nzechukwu, a fighter with a killer instinct who would finish Ulberg in the second round, upsetting the debuting fighter. Ulberg’s next outing would not be until almost a year later, where he would show a more measured approach, out-pointing his opponent Fabio Cherant. It may have not been fan-friendly, but many in the MMA community believe that light heavyweights lack the skill to work around this style.
Ulberg and Nchukwi at UFC Vegas 57
City Kickboxing currently has two champions within the UFC with Kai Kara-France scheduled to fight for the interim flyweight strap. The New Zealand-based gym has a real shot of taking over the UFC. However, to get the ball rolling a victory is quintessential against Nchukwi. Nchukwi is a former middleweight but after dropping a fight to Junyong Park, made the move to light heavyweight. So far he has gone 1-1 in the weight class, beating Mike Rodríguez but getting KOed by Azamat Murzakanov.
This feels like a must-win for the Cameroonian as a loss here would leave him 3-3 in the promotion. He has two x-factors that make him stand out, that being his power and timing. Another product of DWCS, he was able to produce a nasty KO and secure a contract. Win or lose returning to middleweight is not out of the question, but a victory would surely be a motivator.
Implications For Carolos Ulberg
Overall this is a fight that poses a lot of interesting questions, the biggest one being if Nchukwi can find his way into the inside and land a power shot. That may be what most fans are expecting, but Nchukwi is a new breed of fighter that has no traditional background, this means viewing him solely as a striker is a mistake.
Trying to put Ulberg on his back could be a strategy for Nchukwi, especially considering the wealth of experience Ulberg has over his opponents in terms of striking. That being said, Ulberg has been put out in the past, so there is no reason Nchukwi can’t do the same. The climb up the rankings at light heavyweight is faster than in other weight classes, so these fighters need to make the most of every fight they get. Ulberg out pointing once again seems like the most likely outcome, but this fight could be a banger, and it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images