Alexander Volkanovski continued his reign of dominance over the featherweight division with a fourth-round TKO win over "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC 273 on Saturday from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Volkanovski put on an absolute striking clinic in a completely dominant performance.
The Great got off to a hot start in the first round. His speed advantage was clear from the outset as he stuck Zombie at the end of his jab on multiple occasions and was gone before his opponent could counter.
The champion continued to batter the challenger into Round 2. He continued to make his opponent look like he was fighting underwater while Volkanovski's strikes only grew in confidence. He floored Jung with a counter left among other highlight-reel punches.
The champion even threw in a takedown for good measure.
The end nearly came in the third round. Volkanovski tattooed Jung with a clean right cross that sent Zombie to the mat. He was saved by the bell as the Australian was raining down strikes.
That salvation was short-lived. Volkanovski saw the blood in the water and finished the job in the fourth round. He landed back-to-back left-right combinations and Herb Dean mercifully called an end to the fight.
The Great has certainly lived up to his moniker as the featherweight champion. In a division that has featured multiple pound-for-pound greats in Conor McGregor, Max Holloway and Jose Aldo, he is making a strong case to be included among those names.
After all, he does have two wins over Holloway and another over Aldo. Unlike McGregor, he has stuck around in the division and earned not one but three title defenses now.
The former rugby player has big plans to keep busy this year as well as an eye on doing something that all three of those greats have also done: compete in a second weight class.
"I'm planning on staying at featherweight even if I move up, I want to float in both," he said, per James Lynch of MMA News (h/t Drake Riggs of MMA Fighting). "I'm not saying I want to just move to lightweight and stay at lightweight. When people ever ask me if I think of a move to lightweight, it is double champ status, while I still got both belts. The role of lightweight champ and featherweight champ, that's my vision."
Volkanovski at lightweight is an interesting proposition. At 5'6" with a 71-inch reach, he could be giving up quite a bit of size to the top echelon of the division.
But if there's one thing he's proved during his UFC career, it's that it's a bad idea to pick against him.