UFC 297 took a hit today when a light-heavyweight booking was pulled from the card due to Carlos Ulberg (9-1) suffering an injury in preparation for his bout with former title challenger Dominick Reyes (12-4).
UFC 297 is to go down on January 20, 2024, live from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dominick Reyes made the following post to his Twitter account earlier this afternoon in light of the news:
“Hey Everyone, My Fight Jan 20 has been called off due to my opponent’s “injury”. We are currently looking at options or rescheduling. I’ve had a great camp and I’m def frustrated but god has a plan.”
One could only hope this match up gets put back together, as it is a very intriguing one for the light-heavyweight division.
Reyes has had one of the bigger falls from grace in recent memory. He went into his 2020 title bout against Jon Jones with a perfect 12-0 record, and he was a massive underdog going in with his best wins coming over Jared Cannonier (TKO), Volkan Oezdemir (SD) and Chris Weidman (KO), two of which are natural middleweights.
However, once all five rounds were completed, most fans and media scored the fight for Reyes; pretty much every one short of those three judges.
No less, once Jones vacated the belt, many saw Reyes as the uncrowned champion of the division.
Reyes then went into his second-straight title fight, this one against now former champion Jan Blachowicz, who TKO’d him in the latter stages of round two to capture the title himself. Reyes next fought former Rizin, and also now former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka, who violently KO’d him with a spinning back elbow, also in the latter stages of the second round.
This led up to Reyes’ most recent appearance, where he faced no. 11 ranked Ryan Spann, who many favored him to defeat. But Spann KO’d him every bit as devastatingly as Prochazka did, only he did it in just 80 seconds. From 12-0 to 12-4, Reyes was looking to get back on the right track with a victory over the surging former kickboxing champion Carlos Ulberg.
Ulberg, a 1-0 professional boxer and 19-2 professional kickboxer, made it to 4-0 in mixed martial arts leading into his UFC debut back in March of 2021. He was KO’d by Kennedy Nzechukwu in the midst of a back-and-forth war that left all fans at the edge of their seats and hasn’t lost since.
Following the only defeat of his career, Ulberg has since won his last five-straight over the likes of Fabio Cherant (UD), fellow former kickboxer Tafon Nchukwi (TKO), Nicolae Negumereanu (KO), Ihor Potieria (TKO), and Da-Un Jung (rear naked choke).
MMAFighting believes the match up could be moved to UFC Fight Night 239 two months later.
Should the UFC find Reyes an opponent for UFC 297, or should they keep this bout intact?
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