UFC 273 Fight Card: Schedule, Odds, Predictions for Volkanovski vs Korean Zombie

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2022

UFC 273 Fight Card: Schedule, Odds, Predictions for Volkanovski vs Korean Zombie

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    Alexander Volkanovski looks to make his third defense of the featherweight championship against "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC 273 from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida. 

    The Aussie is a big favorite to retain his title after picking the Korean Zombie for his next defense. He was originally supposed to fight Max Holloway for the third time, but when an injury forced Holloway off the card, Jung was willing to step in for his second crack at a UFC title. 

    The co-main event will be a battle for gold as well. Petr Yan will look to avenge his disqualification loss to Aljamain Sterling. The two fought over a year ago when Yan landed a knee on a downed Sterling, which rendered him unable to continue. 

    Elsewhere on the main card, Khamzat Chimaev will face his biggest test to date. He puts his undefeated record up against former title challenger Gilbert Burns. 

    It's a deep card with several important fights. Here's a last-minute look at the schedule and odds along with the biggest questions that will dictate the marquee fights. 

UFC 273 Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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

    • Alexander Volkanovski (c) (-720) vs. Chan Sung Jung (+500)—featherweight title bout
    • Aljamain Sterling (c) (+330) vs. Petr Yan (ic) (-435)—bantamweight title bout
    • Gilbert Burns (+360) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (-490)
    • Mackenzie Dern (-120) vs. Tecia Torres (+100)
    • Vinc Pichel (-115) vs. Mark Madsen (-105)

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

    • Ian Garry (-380) vs. Darian Weeks (+290)
    • 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 (+105) vs. Jared Vanderaa (-125)
    • Piera Rodriguez (-130) vs. Kay Hansen (+110)
    • Julio Arce (-180) vs. Daniel Santos (+155)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Can Volkanovski Finish Jung?

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    At the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday, a fired-up Alexander Volkanovski used some colorful language to let fans know they were going to see greatness on Saturday night. 

    The question is whether that greatness will include a finish from the champ. As great as Volkanovski is, we haven't seen him put an opponent away in quite some time. The 33-year-old scored a knockout win over Chad Mendes in 2018 but has gone four fights without a finish since then. 

    To be fair, each of those four fights has come against elite competition. Brian Ortega only has one other loss on his record. Max Holloway, who he beat twice, and Jose Aldo are both legends in the division. 

    The Korean Zombie is a fun fighter and fan favorite but is a step below the competition Volkanovski has fought recently. 

    The pressure is on for Volkanovski to be dominant, but the Zombie lives up to his moniker. He's as tough as they come and notoriously difficult to put away. 

    Prediction: Volkanovski via decision

Can Sterling Adjust His Game Plan?

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    Aljamain Sterling is technically the champion, but he comes into the rematch with Petr Yan as a sizable underdog with more to prove. 

    Aljo got off to a strong start in his first fight with Yan. But by the time "No Mercy" unleashed the knee that disqualified him, it was pretty clear that he was well on his way to the win. 

    Sterling appeared to be gassed, and the tide in the fight had turned to Yan. So while Sterling technically got the win and the belt, it's easy to see why the Russian is the favorite in the rematch. 

    But the odds still may be a bit too wide here. Sterling showed that he can contend with Yan early in the bout. However, he'll have to toe the line between taking advantage of Yan's slow start and conserving energy to be competitive. 

    Regardless, it still feels like a fight that Yan will eventually take over even if he doesn't get the finish. 

    Prediction: Yan via decision

How Good Is Khamzat Chimaev?

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    Khamzat Chimaev's first four UFC fights are reminiscent of Ronda Rousey's early Strikeforce and UFC runs. He's just dominating the competition at a level that's hard to wrap your head around. 

    In four UFC fights, he has absorbed just one significant strike, per UFC Stats.  

    The athleticism and strength he brings to the table is absurd for a welterweight. Those wins haven't come against the best competition, but it has gotten stronger every time out. 

    Now we get to see him against a legitimate threat in the welterweight division. Burns' only loss since returning to the 170-pound division is against the champion, Kamaru Usman. 

    Chimaev appears destined to meet up with Usman at some point. A win over Burns would expedite that process. The only question is whether Chimaev can treat Burns like he has everyone else. 

    We could finally see Chimaev deal with some adversity. It will ultimately make him a better fighter, as he really hasn't had to make any adjustments within a fight to this point. 

    He still seems too big, strong and athletic for the former lightweight, but we should at least see him in a fight. 

    Prediction: Chimaev via decision


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