Carlos Ulberg

Concluding the prelims of UFC 293 will be a light heavyweight matchup between Carlos Ulberg and Da Woon Jung.

One of New Zealand’s top prospects, Carlos Ulberg, faces the hardest test of his career in Da Woon Jung, who, after not suffering defeat for 15 straight bouts, is looking to rebound from back-to-back losses.

Betting Odds

Carlos Ulberg will be the favorite this Saturday in what will be his tenth pro MMA bout and Jung’s ninth with the UFC.

  • Carlos Ulberg: -255 (BetUS)
  • Da Woon Jung: +205 (BetUS)

Special Offer: Sign up to BetUS today and get an exclusive sign-up offer worth up to $2,500

Fight Breakdown

Da Woon Jung is 29 years old and 15-4-1 as a pro in MMA. He’s often forgotten about at Light Heavyweight but at 4-2-1 in the UFC, he’s been successful at the highest level. Jung does a lot of his best work in the clinch when he can get his hands clasped to work for trips. He has powerful strikes both on the feet and from top control that has notched him 11 knockout victories.

When he gets the sweeps from the clinch, Jung has a methodical top game where he is able to defend any attempts at a get-up or sweep while working his ground n pound and transitions. He’s capable of landing big shots from the clinch as well with great elbows; He creates space quickly and lands a heavy elbow before pulling himself back in tight to avoid any sort of counter. He defends takedowns well early but as his gas tank is worn down, he can be dragged down in the clinch. If he is taken down though, he has great get-ups and doesn’t stay down long.

Jung’s striking can be a bit lackluster, especially in his few most recent fights. He uses the left jab to gauge distance and measure up the right straight but his jab is a bit slow and his opponents have been able to counter strike as well as take him down off this strike. This sluggishness is seen in defensive reactions as well; he appears to be slower than most of his opponents and is rarely first to make contact in striking exchanges. Once the fight is out of the first round, his gas tank depletes and his strikes are even farther behind.

His opponent is the 32-year-old Carlos ‘Black Jag’ Ulberg. Ulberg is 8-1 as a pro and 4-1 in the UFC. Since dropping his debut to Kennedy Nzechukwu, he’s rattled off four straight wins, including three straight first round knockouts. It doesn’t matter which fight you watch, his game plan is predicated on athleticism, footwork, and great counters.

The first thing to note about the Kiwi kickboxer is his quickness. You’ll be searching for a while to find a Light Heavyweight as athletic as Ulberg; his footwork is quick and precise, even in the latter parts of the third round. He uses that footwork to work his counter left hook which is responsible for his three straight knockouts. He likes to use a jab with a jab-step (similar to a jab-step in basketball) before pulling himself out of range of the right hand counter before firing off the left hook over the shoulder. He’s incredibly fast and accurate with this combo and though his opponents know the counter left hook is coming, he’s managed to execute it perfectly over and over. He doesn’t throw the right hand much at all, but his kicks hit hard and are as explosive as you’d expect. He likes the front kick to the body before going to the head with the round kick.

We haven’t seen a lot of wrestling – offensively or defensively – from Ulberg which is largely due to his movement. It’s extremely hard to try and takedown someone who moves as quickly and fluidly like Ulberg while still defending his precise striking. He keeps his hands low in his guard which can get him in trouble when his opponent follows a jab with the right hand, but he relies on head movement and his counters to avoid too much damage. His hands being low do help with takedown attempts as he’s ready to block his hips and dig for hooks immediately.

Against Nzechukwu, we saw him gas after almost having Kennedy out of there in the first but since then, he’s looked fresh. Though he’s only fought out of the first round once since, he had a three round fight with Cherant where he looked fresh and quick until the final bell. If someone is capable of forcing him into striking wars or wear him down with clinches and grappling, it may wear on his gas tank and make him easier to hit as the fight goes on but when he fights his fight, he can easily last fifteen full minutes.

The path for victory for Jung against a striker like Ulberg will require him to stay disciplined with his striking defense and cause clinches where he can try to snag some takedowns. Though he doesn’t have a great gas tank himself, it’ll be imperative to slow down the more explosive Ulberg. If he can rack of control time and utilize the clinch on the feet, he’ll neutralize Ulbergs two biggest weapons in his counters and movement.

For Ulberg, it’s almost not worth mentioning that his path to victory is to stay patient and look for his chance to land the kicks and left hand. I hope we get to see a more complete striking arsenal from Ulberg as he grows in his MMA career that includes the right hand. In the one though, he needs to use his movement as he has to prevent Jung from closing distance and clinching. At range, he’ll be able to wait for the slower right hand of Jung and counter as well as use his kicks to all three levels to keep his offense diverse.

Fight Prediction

Jung is likely the toughest fighter Ulberg has faced thus far in the UFC but I still think there’s a skill disparity here that will be too much to overcome for Jung with a game plan that’ll be so reliant on grappling and slowing down the movement. Ulberg is the quicker fighter and hits as hard, or harder with a gas tank that can, at worst, match that of Jung, so I’m going with Ulberg to get this one done and set himself up for a shot at the top 15.

  • Prediction: Carlos Ulberg to win (-255 on BetUS)
  • Best Bet: Ulberg by KO (-140 on BetUS)

Special Offer: Sign up to BetUS today and get an exclusive sign-up offer worth up to $2,500

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Thanks, I appreciate it! There were definitely opportunities for the TKO but I’m still happy with the performance.