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Carlos Ulberg gets call for UFC 303

Carlos Ulberg to fight UFC 303

New Zealand’s Carlos Ulberg will face former light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill in the co-main event of UFC 303, after Khalil Rountree Jr tested positive for drugs this week.

The June 30 card boasts one of the biggest main events of the year, with UFC superstar Connor McGregor making his long-awaited return against Michael Chandler. Getting to fight the No.3 contender on such an occasion is a huge opportunity for Ulberg.

The 33-year-old is riding a six-fight win streak in the UFC. His most recent victory came just a fortnight ago, when he knocked out Alonzo Menifield in 12 seconds at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Nascimento.

Ulberg confident despite late notice

There’s no denying this is an unexpected bout. Even Ulberg himself was asleep in bed when he got the call that he had the opportunity to fight Hill.
However, the Kiwi is confident he’ll be able to make his mark at UFC 303.

“I’ve always prepared myself to fight like it is a world title,” said Ulberg on Friday.

“When those opportunities come by you can’t pass them up.

“Here we go. UFC 303! I guess we’re going to Vegas, baby.”

Ulberg’s opportunity comes courtesy of Rountree Jr testing positive for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a banned substance in the UFC. Ulberg said that upon receiving the call, he didn’t think twice about agreeing to the match up.

“There wasn’t much thought put into it,” explained Ulberg. “It was more like, ‘OK, this is it. Let’s go for it’. I have said if anyone is going to make it happen, the UFC can make anything happen. They make your dreams come true, and these are the opportunities.”

Does Ulberg stand a chance against Hill?

It’s all well and good for Ulberg to get his 15 seconds of fame at UFC 303, but does the New Zealander stand a chance on June 30th?

UFC bookies seem to think so. It’s too early for extensive betting markets to be available, but those bookmakers that are offering odds have this contest as a coin flip, with -109.89 odds each way.

Hill comes into this clash needing to step up his game after a tough first-round loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 300. In the fight, he looked out of sorts, going into his shell and getting punished for it.

The American’s best path to victory is taking this fight deep and testing Ulberg’s cardio. The Kiwi has claimed first-round finishes in four of his last five encounters, and will be an unknown quantity in the later rounds against Hill.

For Ulberg, he’ll be eyeing up Hill’s vulnerability to leg kicks. The No.11 contender thrives in the stand-up game, and will back himself to get some reward here.

It’s still early days, but we say backing an Ulberg knockout could deliver some great value. And, it’s not an entirely unreasonable bet to make either.

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