Mixed Martial Arts: Surging Kiwi prospect Carlos Ulberg books bout against Dominick Reyes at UFC 297

Carlos Ulberg.
Carlos Ulberg. Photo credit: Getty Images

Rising Kiwi fighter Carlos Ulberg will take a significant step up in competition when he squares off with Dominick Reyes at UFC 297.

The Aucklander will lock horns with the former title challenger in Toronto on January 20, when he'll have a golden opportunity to rocket up the light heavyweight rankings with victory over the division's No.13 fighter.

Carlos Ulberg submits Jung Da-un.
Carlos Ulberg submits Jung Da-un. Photo credit: Getty Images

The matchup comes after Ulberg mentioned Reyes by name as his potential next opponent immediately following his submission win over Jung Da-un at UFC 293 in Sydney in September.

That win was the City Kickboxing product's fifth straight since losing his promotional debut in March 2021, proving himself as one of the division's most promising prospects.

The finish was 'Black Jag's' fourth in as many fights, taking out his prior three via emphatic first-round knockouts.

Californian Reyes hasn't fought since being knocked out by Ryan Spann in New York in November, the latest in a challenging stretch that has included four consecutive defeats – albeit against some high-calibre opposition.

He pushed then-light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to the limit in his bid for the belt at UFC 247 in early 2020. Seven months later, he came up short against Jan Blachowicz in another title challenge.

The event will be headlined by newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland's first title defence since upsetting Kiwi Israel Adesanya in Sydney, taking on South African Dricus DuPlessis.