Volkanovski-Zombie title fight slated for UFC 273

Sports

Two title fights are now official for UFC 273.

Alexander Volkanovski will defend his UFC featherweight title against Chan Sung Jung, “The Korean Zombie,” in the main event of the pay-per-view card April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida, UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell confirmed to ESPN on Friday. The co-main event will be a bantamweight unification bout between champion Aljamain Sterling and interim champ Petr Yan.

The two fights were initially scheduled for UFC 272 on March 5 in Las Vegas, but were moved off that date. UFC 272 will be headlined by the Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal grudge match. The holdup over the official UFC 273 confirmation was the location, which Sterling had speculated last month on social media as Jacksonville, but had not been made official until recently.

Volkanovski (23-1) has won 20 straight fights overall, including his 10 in the UFC. He is coming off a unanimous decision win over Brian Ortega at UFC 266 last September in one of the best fights of 2021. Volkanovski, 33, beat Max Holloway for the title at UFC 245 in December 2019 and has two title defenses.

Jung (17-6) is coming off a unanimous win over Dan Ige last June and has won three of four overall. The 11-year veteran of the UFC is from Korea and known for being an action fighter. Jung, 34, fought once before for the featherweight title, a loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 163 in June 2013.

Volkanovski was originally supposed to face Holloway, who had to withdraw from the original March 5 date because of injury. However, Holloway will be healed in time for April 9 and is petitioning the UFC to be the backup for the Volkanovski vs. Jung matchup, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported Friday.

Sterling (20-3) won the featherweight title from Yan via disqualification (illegal knee) at UFC 259 last March. The 32-year-old from New York has won six straight. Yan (16-2) won the interim belt by beating Cory Sandhagen via unanimous decision at UFC 267 in October. The 28-year-old Russian fighter’s only loss in his past 12 fights and the last six years was the DQ against Sterling.

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