UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski gets to take Chan Sung Jung to school as they headline UFC 273 on Saturday. Originally set as a trilogy matchup against Max Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski vs The Korean Zombie is the new headliner following Holloway’s injury. The online betting odds now have Volkanovski ready to put down his new challenger as a -700 favorite.
Volkanovski Eyeing P4P Status
One does not simply become a 7-1 favorite overnight. Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski earned his chalky UFC odds thanks to two victories over Holloway, then considered the greatest 145er, and a convincing win over No. 1 contender Brian Ortega. So a fighter like The Korean Zombie, real name Chan Sung Jung. should be a cakewalk.
A defense of his title seems automatic here given the odds. Volkanovski will not only have to beat the Zombie but will have to do it convincingly: by a 50-45 shutout or a knockout victory. The Australian is currently listed as the No. 3 best fighter in the world by the UFC pound-for-pound (P4P) rankings. Only Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya are ranked higher.
“That belt ain’t leaving me, my family and Australia – no way. I’m expecting to go out there and get that other ruby,” Volkanovski said in a Fox Sports Fight Week interview. And it’s hard to envision the champion losing.
‘This isn’t any disrespect to him and his capabilities, it’s just purely my capabilities, where I’m at – I’m just too good right now and I can’t be beaten right now.’
Volkanovski has gone 10-0 in the UFC. His last two fights against Holloway, currently ranked No. 6 in the P4P rankings, were the only time he’s looked vulnerable. In his 24-fight career, “Volk” has only lost once and that came way back in 2013 in his fourth pro fight.
Adept in almost all facets of MMA, Volkanovski began wrestling as a 12-year-old and is now a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But, arguably his greatest asset is his striking as he hails from the renowned gym, City Kickboxing, where he trains with the likes of Adesanya and flyweight contender Kai-Kara France.
“This isn’t any disrespect to him and his capabilities, it’s just purely my capabilities, where I’m at – I’m just too good right now and I can’t be beaten right now,” Volkanovski said of the Zombie.
It’s hard not to be this confident when you’ve get the resume Volkanovski has. And come UFC 273: Alexander Volkanovski vs The Korean Zombie, he can further add to this.
The Zombie’s Last Shot At Immortality
Not many MMA fighters are more known by their nickname than their actual name. But Chan Sung Jung has earned his moniker by entertaining fight fans as the “Korean Zombie” for a over two decades. Yet if it’s one thing that can surely make him immortal, it’s capturing a UFC title, something that has eluded him in 11 years with the promotion. He gets possibly one last shot at UFC 273: Alexander Volkanovski vs The Korean Zombie.
At 35 years of age and with multiple injuries and scar tissue, Zombie knows that his time in the sport isn’t long. He took this title shot despite still recovering from a shoulder injury, which is quite a hurdle to overcome for a boxing-based striker like him.
Zombie’s injury, compounded by his shutout loss to Ortega, is likely why so many fans and bettors have started writing him off. His line opened at +150 and has been bet up to +450, the biggest he’s ever been as an underdog. While he has experience pulling off upsets like with his wins over Frankie Edgar and Dustin Poirier, Volkanovski is a different animal.
Renowned for his one-punch knockout power, Zombie will have to do more than “catch” Volkanovski to put him away. The champion survived numerous onslaughts from Holloway and escaped a deep guillotine choke from Ortega. Zombie will have to dig deep and find creative ways to put away Volkanovski if he hopes to win the title.Follow us on Twitter