He trains in a gym with two current UFC champions but you sense Carlos Ulberg still probably gets the most attention when the City Kickboxing team hits the town – at least from the fairer sex.
The 29-year-old, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of teammates Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovski by winning UFC gold, has twice been offered the opportunity to be New Zealand’s The Bachelor.
But the Maori-Samoan man known as Mr Marvellous said no both times, opting instead to focus on making the transition from kickboxing star to UFC fighter.
“It’s just not my thing and I’m more focused on my fight career,” Ulberg told ESPN this week. “Doing the Bachelor would mean I’d have to put myself out of training for a couple of months.”
Ulberg will attempt to earn a UFC contract when he fights in the Dana White Contender Series on Thursday against Brazil’s Bruno Oliveira.
The light heavyweight, who has twice been a champion in the King of the Ring kickboxing promotion, has been tipped for success by his teammates.
“He’s good looking, that’s one thing you need to remember,” Volkanovski said with a laugh.
“But he can fight too, don’t let his looks fool you. He’s a stud but he’s got some savage kicks.”
Adesanya and fellow City Kickboxing UFC fighter Brad Riddell will be in his corner for Thursday’s fight, completing a wild month of travel to show their support.
“He doesn’t want to just be introduced as Izzy’s teammate,” Adesanya told the Ariel Helwani Show.
“It’s a problem having to deal with that guy, especially when he’s on. It’s a real problem.
“I have to deal with him – and I’m the f***ing world champ – and when he gives me problems, he gives me problems.
“No one wants to hold pads for him. Your forearms are dead … he’s a specimen.”