UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2022

UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

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    Alexander Volkanovski is building an all-time great resume at featherweight. "The Korean Zombie" is one of the most fun fighters in the division's history. The two will meet in the main event of UFC 273. 

    As if that weren't enough to make it a must-see card, there's a championship bout with bad blood in the co-main slot. Aljamain Sterling will look to show that his disqualification win over Petr Yan was no fluke in a rematch for the bantamweight championship. 

    If that still doesn't sell the card, there's a pivotal welterweight fight with rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev that just may be the most interesting contest of the night. 

    Those are just the top three fights on a card that really has talent and intrigue scattered throughout. Here's a look at the complete schedule along with previews and predictions for the biggest fights of the night. 

UFC 273 Fight Card, Odds and Schedule

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    Main Card (ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET)

    • Alexander Volkanovski (c) (-675, bet $675 to win $100) vs. Chan Sung Jung (+475, bet $100 to win $475)—featherweight title bout
    • Aljamain Sterling (c) (+320) vs. Petr Yan (ic) (-425)—bantamweight title bout
    • Gilbert Burns (+350) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (-475)
    • Mackenzie Dern (-130) vs. Tecia Torres (+110)
    • Vinc Pichel (-115) vs. Mark Madsen (-105)

    Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET)

    • Ian Garry (-365) vs. Darian Weeks (+280)
    • Anthony Hernandez (-190) vs. Josh Fremd (+160)
    • Aspen Ladd (+155) vs. Raquel Pennington (-180)
    • Mickey Gall (+160) vs. Mike Malott (-190)

    Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET)

    • Aleksei Oleinik (+110) vs. Jared Vanderaa (-130)
    • Piera Rodriguez (-130) vs. Kay Hansen (+110)
    • Julio Arce (-180) vs. Daniel Santos (+155)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Volkanovski Shows off Against Korean Zombie

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    The Korean Zombie isn't even Alexander Volkanovski's true competition when he steps in the ring on Saturday night. It's the likes of Conor McGregor, Max Holloway and Jose Aldo. 

    With wins over both Aldo and Holloway and a perfect 10-0 record in the UFC with two title defenses and counting, Volkanovski is really competing to claim the title of the best featherweight to ever do it. 

    So in a matchup like this, in which he is a sizeable favorite and appears to hold several advantages, it isn't just about winning. It's about winning big. 

    The biggest knock on Volkanovski to this point is that he doesn't finish a lot of fights. His last four have gone to decision. While he should be able to win wherever the fight takes place against Zombie, it will be difficult to get the finish. 

    After all, his nickname is Zombie, and he's waded through plenty of punishment to earn it. That likely won't be enough for him to spring an upset, but it does mean this fight is likely going the distance. 

    Prediction: Volkanovski via decision

Yan Gets His Revenge

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    Looking at the odds for this one, it seems to be forgotten that Aljamain Sterling got off to a strong start in his first fight against Petr Yan. 

    The Russian is a large favorite after losing the first fight by disqualification. However, Aljo had a strong first two rounds against Yan. He landed more significant strikes in the first 10 minutes of the fight, and the third was close, with Sterling landing 29 significant strikes to Yan's 30, per UFC Stats

    Admittedly, the fight was fully turned toward Yan by the fourth round, and he had control of the bout when he unleashed the knee to a grounded Sterling that lost him the fight. 

    However, it shouldn't be surprising if this fight follows a similar path. Yan is a slow starter, and Sterling found success with that in the first fight. This should be more competitive than the odds would indicate. 

    Then again, it's hard to pick against "No Mercy." His striking and wrestling could be the difference. He landed seven takedowns in the first fight and should feel more comfortable with Sterling's style in this second fight. 

    Prediction: Yan via decision

Chimaev Pushes Through First Adversity to Win

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    Even with two belts on the line, the Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns fight might be the main event of the people. 

    Khamzat Chimaev has established himself as the most mysterious prospect in the UFC right now. There's no denying he's been great. He's gone four up and four down in the UFC so far with only one of those four opponents landing a strike. 

    That's not a misprint or typo. Chimaev hasn't absorbed a strike since his first fight in the UFC, per UFC Stats

    That's likely to change against Gilbert Burns. Durinho is the perfect opponent for Chimaev at this stage of his career. With the prospect cruising to victories against lower-level competition in his first four fights, he will get Burns, who has only lost to champion Kamaru Usman since coming back down to welterweight in 2019. 

    What you think about this fight is all about how you view Chimaev. At this point, the hype seems real, but not to the point he'll walk through Burns. The Brazilian is tough as nails, and we are going to find out what happens when Chimaev doesn't immediately get the fight to go his way. 

    Prediction: Chimaev via decision


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