One of the top Ukrainian MMA fighters, Ihor "The Duelist" Potieria (19-4) dropped to New Zealander Carlos Ulberg in the UFC on May 13th to 14th at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, USA. This was his third fight in the world's most prestigious fighting organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he was defeated by 32-year-old New Zealander Carlos Ulberg (8-1).
In July 2020, Potieria made his UFC debut by defeating Polish fighter Lukasz Sudolski (10-2) in July 2020 on Dana White's Contender Series. Ihor received very positive feedback from the organization's president, Dana White.
"The odds mean nothing, but he was a 3-to-1 underdog in this fight, so the bookmakers thought he would be destroyed. But he did the opposite, finishing his opponent impressively," — White said after the fight.
In his debut fight under a UFC contract, the Ukrainian fighter lost to experienced Romanian fighter Nicolae Negumereanu (13-2). However, in January 2023, Potieria returned to the winning path defeating the star former champion from Brazil, Mauricio Rua (27-14-1). The fight occurred in front of his hometown crowd, with Potieria finishing the match in the first round. At the fourth minute of the fight, the Ukrainian began to strike his opponent near the cage, causing him to fall to the canvas. Poterya continued his assault, which was stopped by the referee, declaring victory for the Kyiv fighter.
Carlos Ulberg entered the fight against Potieria with a three-fight winning streak, two by knockout. He prepared for the confrontation with the Ukrainian in the training camp of UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (24-2), which boosted his confidence.
Potieria's training camp traditionally took place in Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai, the largest and most popular MMA center in the world. In addition to intense training, Potieria consistently emphasized his support for Ukraine during the war, participating in charity events and other activities.
The Ukrainian started the match aggressively, taking the fight to the ground. However, Ulberg resisted and worked at a comfortable distance, landing regular low kicks. After one of those kicks, Potieria countered with a right hook, but Ulberg closed the distance, causing Potieria to miss and fall to the canvas. Ulberg took full advantage of the situation, attacking Potieria until the referee stopped the fight.
Potieria perceives this fight's outcome as another challenge he must overcome, similar to a true warrior. He sees it as an opportunity to gain more experience and grow stronger.
“I want to thank everyone for your support. I truly appreciate it. I see your messages and thank everyone for your warm and honest words. As for me, I don't feel like I lost the fight. I didn't even have a chance to show myself! I hope the UFC makes a decision and finds a resolution, as shots in the back of the head are against the rules. What can I say? Shit happens. I don't wish for anyone to have this referee! Everyone has their own path and their own story. The further we go, the more fun it gets! Trials after trials! Energy guides me. I thank God for everything!”
Soft2Bet supports Igor Potieria both inside and outside the octagon. As we know, victories don't come without defeats, so we sincerely believe that the Ukrainian will gain valuable experience from this fight. This will help him become better. The most significant victories are still ahead!