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Carlos Ulberg put on a dominant display to earn a unanimous decision victory at UFC 271. Photo: @ufc/Twitter.

City Kickboxing's Carlos Ulberg has earned his first UFC victory in dominant fashion, outclassing Fabio Cherant over three rounds at UFC 271.

Light Heavyweight Carlos Ulberg (4-1, 1-1 UFC) has secured his first UFC win, outclassing America’s Fabio Cherant (7-4, 0-4 UFC) over three rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x3). From the jump, Ulberg looked the far superior fighter, controlling distance and dictating the pace of the fight.

Ulberg entered the fight with lots of hype behind him as a training partner of Israel Adesanya and member of the famed City Kickboxing gym. After an impressive first-round knockout win in Dana White’s Contender Series in November 2020, big things were expected from Ulberg. However, the 31 year old fell short in his first UFC fight, suffering a second round knockout.

Ulberg was able to write that wrong against Cherant though and showcase the striking skills and ability which had excited many pundits.

From the opening bell, Ulberg was able to control the centre of the octagon, pushing Cherant back against the fence. Ulberg was calculated early, using his superior reach advantage to pick off his opponent from distance and not take any punishment back.

After a groin strike from Ulberg at the halfway mark of the opening round, Cherant became more aggressive, landing a good left hook which sent Ulberg retreating. Cherant followed up and began to work in the clinch to negate a reach disadvantage, but this was short lived. The New Zealander soon taking the contest to the ground him.

Ulberg was unable to hold Cherant down for long with both fighters returning to their feet after a few seconds of mat time. In the final few moments of the opening round, Cherant landed a straight left which grazed the side of Ulberg’s ear, knocking him off balance and to the ground, however the bell sounded shortly after with ‘The Water Buffalo’ unable to capitalise.

The second round was much more one sided, with Ulberg taking over. A check left hook landed early in from Ulberg, catching Cherant coming. The punch opened a cut near the right eye of the American, with blood soon streaming down his cheek.

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Ulberg continued to dominate, opening up more in the midway point of the round, pushing Cherant back against the cage and teeing off on him at will. Cherant had no answer and became seemingly frozen, not throwing anything back in response. Instead, he became content with slowly being picked apart from the outside.

At the conclusion of the second round, Cherant had only landed 11 total strikes thus far in the fight compared to Ulberg’s 46.

The third and final round followed a similar storyline as Ulberg again had his way, while Cherant looked hesitant to answer back. Cherant allowed Ulberg to fight his fight, being picked apart from the outside and staying against the fence.

Ulberg was able to secure another takedown in the final minute of the fight but nothing of any significance happened. Both fighters soon returned to their feet to close out the final round.

While the performance was dominant, Ulberg still has plenty to work on if he wants to climb his way up the Light Heavyweight division, given that Cherant did not really test him. For the fight, Cherant landed just 13 of the 41 strikes he threw, while Ulberg landed at 58% and was able to mix up his 66 strikes to all parts of Cherant’s body.  

For UFC 271 updates, follow The Inner Sanctum’s live blog, here. To watch the live main card from 2pm AEDT, order on Kayo.

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