City Kickboxing member Carlos Ulberg took on Nicolae Negumereanu in the opening bout of UFC 281, an event headlined by Ulberg’s training partner Israel Adesanya.
Former professional kickboxer Ulberg came into the match-up on the back of a two-fight winning streak, including a seventy-five second KO in his last fight, after dropping his UFC debut despite earning ‘Fight of the Night’ honors for it.
Ulberg looked to get the New Zealand based camp off to a hot start in preparation for his three teammates’ bouts, but it was going to be no small task to get past Negumereanu. The Romanian is a well-rounded mixed martial artist with a chin and cardio for days. These traits allow him to survive when the going gets rough and he has won his last four fights as a result. Two aggressive, pacey men who spend most of their time on the feet seemed likely to start the night off with a banger.
Negumereanu gained the front foot early on as the light heavyweight pair felt each other out by trading leg kicks, but Ulberg landed the better of those by far. Ulberg circled the cage and Negumereanu taunted him for it early on. The reason for that showed soon as Nicolae was unable to track his opponent down and cut the cage to corner him.
Soon, Negumereanu’s leg began to show signs of weakness after only a handful of calf kicks, and Ulberg’s constant movement did not help his case. Negumereanu was getting frustrated but all of a sudden Ulberg threw a lead hook off of the jab that dropped his opponent as he sprung forward, right into those punches. Negumereanu tried to regain his footing but follow up strikes from Carlos Ulberg put him asleep, face-first on the mat, and it took almost a minute before the medical staff could get him up and put him on the stool. Ulberg had obliterated a man inside of a round with only a handful of perfectly placed strikes and achieved his biggest win to date.
— UFC (@ufc) November 12, 2022
Official Result: Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu by KO, Round 1, 3:44