One of three City Kickboxing fighters competing on the UFC 271 card was Carlos Ulberg. And after Blood Diamond came up short in his debut earlier on Saturday’s card, it was Ulberg getting the team back in the win column.
The kickboxer had made his octagon debut last year, to much fanfare. Unfortunately, the New Zealand light heavyweight known as “Black Jag” had allowed himself to be drawn into deep waters against Kennedy Nzechukwu, ultimately being stopped in the latter half of the second round.
For his second go-round, Ulberg was paired up with Fabio Cherant. “The Water Buffalo” had lost his first two fighters in the UFC, and was in must-win territory on Saturday.
Both men started the fight off feeling each other out through opening two minutes, with Ulberg having success with the calf kick. Ulberg continued to press until a kick to the groin near the midway mark of the round. After the break Cherant came right out the gate with a big shot, leading to both men clinching and Ulberg successfully taking his opponent down. Although Ulberg was pressing for the rest of the round, Cherant was able to land a big straight left at the end of the round, dropping Ulberg.
One minute into the second round, Ulberg landed a hard counter left, opening a cut up above Cherant’s right eye. Through five minutes of the second, it was much the same story as in round on: Ulberg pressuring and Cherant looking for a counter. Ulberg expertly feinted, working his jab and going back to the body/legs with his kicks. Round two was all Ulberg, with Cherant looking hesitant to engage.
Different round same start in the third. Ulberg continued to work through his kickboxing arsenal while Cherant backed up and looked to counter with a big left. Ulberg landed a nice combo at the 2:15 mark and supplemented that with some big body shots. Cherant attempted some offense with a minute remaining, and Ulberg clinched, leading to his second successful takedown.
Ulberg’s pressure and Cherant’s lack of aggression was the story of the fight. Ulberg redeemed his last loss and moves to 6-1. Cherant is now 7-4, putting him on a three fight losing streak in the UFC. The question now is will Cherant get another fight, or will the “Water Buffalo” be put to pasture?
Official Result: Carlos Ulberg def. Fabio Cherant by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)