Guy Giles makes his pick as Alex Volkanovski defends his featherweight title against Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273.
Volkanovski v Korean Zombie odds
UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski will defend his belt for the third time at UFC 273 in Jacksonville on Saturday.
His opponent, Chan Sung Jung – known by most as ‘The Korean Zombie’ – will be challenging for the 145lb belt for the second time, but can count himself lucky to get this chance.
The UFC had originally granted Max Holloway a third fight against Volkanovski at UFC 272 in March, but the former champ was forced to pull out through injury and Jung stepped up.
Jung has won just three of his last five fights, with losses against Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez suggesting he may no longer be able to compete at the very top of the division.
There is no doubt that Jung remains a dangerous prospect for any opponent, but at 35 years old, and having taken so much damage over the course of his career, his best days in the UFC are behind him.
Not only that, but he is facing a fighter in his prime in Volkanovski, who remains undefeated in the UFC and 23-1 across his whole career.
‘The Great’ is a huge betting favourite for his third title defence, heading to Florida priced at to win.
‘The Korean Zombie’, meanwhile, is to become the new UFC featherweight champion.
Volkanovski v Korean Zombie prediction
The only conceivable advantages that Jung has over Volkanovski are a slightly slicker grappling game and a larger frame.
Jung could potentially look to take this fight to the ground, particularly after seeing Volkanovski struggle to keep pace with Brian Ortega on the mat in his last fight, although Volkanovski’s wrestling will make takedowns hard to come by.
In truth, it is hard to see where Jung can really trouble the champ, particularly if the fight goes into the later rounds.
Volkanovski’s elite cardio has seen him take the decision in his last four fights, so if this one goes the distance there should only be one winner.
Jung will have to hunt for the finish, then, and that will open him up to being finished himself, with Volkanovski holding a significant strength and power advantage.
‘The Great’ has not proved to be an elite finisher in the UFC, but he gets it done when he needs to, with 11 knockouts over the course of his career.
Two of Jung’s last three losses have come by knockout, so the legendary durability that gave him his name is clearly fading.
Ultimately, Volkanovski’s superiority should come to the fore at some point over the five rounds, and backing the finish looks a good bet.
Volkanovski to win by KO, TKO, DQ or submission
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