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Handicapper Ben Rajavuori is here with his best bet for tonight's UFC Fight Night event from Las Vegas. He previews the Tafon Nchukwi vs. Carlos Ulberg fight and gives us his bet here.
ANALYSIS

Tafon Nchukwi vs. Carlos Ulberg Prediction: Trust This Expert's UFC Vegas 57 Best Bet

When: June 25

Time: 9:00 PM EDT

Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV

Where to Watch: ESPN & ESPN+

Click Here for Complete UFC Fight Night Odds

Two Dana White's Contender Series fighters will match up in the last preliminary bout of tonight's UFC card. Carlos Ulberg (6-1, 1-1 UFC) will be making his third UFC appearance after most recently picking up a decision victory against Fabio Cherant. Tafon Nchukwi, meanwhile, is looking to get back in the win column after a knockout loss to Azamat Murzakanov. Both fighters are fairly newer in their MMA careers, and this will be a good experience boost for both men, win or lose. Which contender series alumni will get their hand raised tonight?

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Tafon Nchukwi vs. Carlos Ulberg Prediction

Click Here for Tafon Nchukwi vs. Carlos Ulberg Odds

Carlos Ulberg is a part-time model from New Zealand, but don't let his looks fool you because he is a hard-hitting kickboxer fighting out of City Kickboxing. Know any other kickboxers from City Kickboxing? Oh yeah. Israel Adesanya. The two are close training partners and spar occasionally (their frames are very similar when Adesanya is at his walk-around weight, as both fighters are 6' 4"). Ulberg fights similarly to Adesanya, using range to his advantage and quickly getting in and out of the pocket. His footwork is phenomenal for a light heavyweight, and he stays light on his feet, landing his shots at range before escaping the pocket. His downside? Defensively, he tends to leave his chin high and can be countered as a result. Certainly not something you want to happen against someone with power, like Tafon Nchukwi.

Nchukwi has solid kickboxing himself, as he was a regional champion before trying MMA out. Nchukwi had success in his UFC debut, picking up a decision win against Jamie Pickett, but is now 1-2 over his last three fights and is facing possible back-to-back losses. Nchukwi is shorter for the light heavyweight division since his frame is thicker. This puts him in an awkward position where he can't move up to heavyweight because of his height. However, despite being the shorter man tonight, the reach will be even at 77 inches. This will be important for Nchukwi since his style clashes with Ulberg's, despite both being predominant kickboxers. Nchukwi loads up on his strikes, trying to end the fight with one blow on every shot. Nchukwi also utilizes little movement and is willing to eat shots to land his own. This can lead to him getting outstruck or, even worse, knocked out.

Carlos Ulberg's strengths in this fight will be speed and footwork. He will be the quicker striker, and his movement can stymie Nchukwi's loaded-up shots. Power-wise, they are pretty even. Nchukwi is probably more likely to win by knockout, considering how he puts everything into each shot, but this will tire him out quicker. This seems like Ulberg's fight to lose in my eyes. As long as Ulberg sticks to solid footwork and works in his distant attacks, moving in and out of striking range with speed, his path to victory is much more reliable than Nchukwi's. Neither fighter is super reliable at this point, but I am confident in backing the faster striker that will be outlanding Nchukwi for most of the fight. If Ulberg can keep his chin down and stay tight defensively when escaping the pocket, he will win. If he doesn't knock him out, he should pick up a win on the scorecards. Back Ulberg to make it back-to-back wins.

Tafon Nchukwi vs. Carlos Ulberg Pick

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Article Author

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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