Ulberg Pulls Off Historic Double
Carlos Ulberg ruled the ring on Saturday night as he doubled down on his last victory, adding another King In the Ring crown to his trophy cabinet.
There might be no greater spectacle in New Zealand combat sports than King In the Ring, the 8 man eliminator tournament that sees potential champions battle their way through three tough opponents on the same night in pursuit of crowning glory. Saturday night was an especially hard ask given that across town Glozier Boxing was putting on their own mammoth event, the Women’s WBO Light-Heavyweight World Championship, but once again Jason Suttie proved that he knows how to pull the crowds and put on the big show. Thousands of fight fans and media packed out Barfoot and Thompson stadium for an electric night of K-1 Rules Kickboxing action.
King In The Ring is known for running their 8 man series across a range of weight classes, all exciting in their own rights, but if it’s stoppages you want to see then this 92KG eight man eliminator series is the perfect event. The big boys certainly came out to play, in fact eventual Champion Carlos Ulberg managed to make his way through the event without once seeing the end of the third round.
Ulberg’s first fight saw him square off the strongly rated Julius Ponanga, who arguably gave the now two time champ the toughest of his three fights. Ulberg displayed strong defensive techniques, and a constant foot check but failed to land much in the first round. The second round saw a much more offensive Ulberg coming foward and punishing his opponent, and then using the advantage of his reach to sit back and land jabs whenever Ponanga came on the attack. The third round opened in much the same fashion with Ulberg continuing to up the tempo, beating Julius around the ring. With Ponanga looking out on his feet, referee Tony Angelov called a halt 47 seconds into the third.
And that was the way the night was to go for Carlos, with body kicks making light work of Nato Laauli, meanwhile Fou Ah Lam progressed onto the final ending Jamie Eades’ night in the first. Ah Lam, who seemed to badly injure his first opponent, seemed the only fighter capable of challenging Ulberg in the final, but it wasn’t to be. Ulberg came into the final looking like he just woke up, his herculean physique standing out even against the backdrop of top level athletes on display. Just as a Queen was being crowned at Sky City, a King was born in Barfoot and Thompson with Ulberg kicking Fou Ah Lam to submission.
Who knows what’s next for Carlos Ulberg, the part time model, part time actor, full-time wrecking ball. Will he make his way to the UFC as he’s always dreamed? Or will he finally say yes to next years run of The Bachelor. Whatever it is, try not to get in his way.