King Carlos wins second King in the Ring title

By Rahia Timutimu

Carlos Ulberg has won his second King in the Ring title overnight, winning all three of his fights in the tournament by technical knockout.

Ulberg, of Tainui, Te Atiawa and Hāmoa descent, went into the fight night as the current heavyweight champion, a title that he won two years ago.

He's now become a part of history, becoming only the second fighter to win two separate divisions in the 8-man eliminator. The first to do this was current UFC middleweight title competitor Israel Adesanya.

“I’ve seen this through so many times before I even got into this ring, said Ulberg after his final win.

"In the past few weeks, I’ve just imagined it before I even got here. So just to see it fall into place today was just amazing.”

King in the Ring is a last-man-standing fight tournament. In the competition, fighters square off under international K-1 rules and bring together their own techniques from kickboxing, boxing, muay thai, kung fu, kyokuishin karate and other martial arts in a three-round bout.

Ulberg’s first opponent was another Māori, Hamilton’s Julias ‘Caesar’ Poananga representing Core MMA.  Ulberg won the fight with 47 seconds gone in the third and final round by TKO, finishing Poananga with some knee and right-hand punches.

His second opponent was Nato La’auli, who was 2cm shorter than Ulberg at 189cm and also seven years his senior at 35-years-old.

Again in round three, Ulberg’s opponent fell to the floor after a push kick, a snap front kick, to the sternum. Behind the sternum is the liver, the biggest organ in the body which shuts down very quickly if hit correctly.

Ulberg secured two of these kicks to La’auli, which forced another TKO.

In the final of the night, Ulberg's opponent was ‘Fabulous’ Fou Ah-lam of Samoan heritage fighting out of ETK in Auckland.

Carlos got a calf kick in, flooring his opponent immediately with just over two minutes to go in the second round. Seconds later another calf kick to the left leg again floored Ah-lam and stopped the fight, for Ulberg to win by TKO.

There’s no rest for the Māori fighter as he prepares for his next bout, an MMA fight which will be held next month.