The UFC head to Jacksonville, Florida this weekend for the massive UFC 273 PPV event which will be held at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena.

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will defend his title against the Korean Zombie in the main event. Volkanovski was supposed to fight nemesis Max Holloway for the third time but Holloway got hurt. In the co-main event, the highly anticipated rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan for the UFC bantamweight title will finally take place. It can be recalled that Sterling won the belt at UFC 259 after Yan got disqualified due to an illegal knee.

The third fight in the event could be the best one with no. 2 ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns taking on the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev in a three-round war. Also on the main card is BJJ star Mackenzie Dern who will face the veteran Tecia Torres in a women’s strawweight contest.

Let’s take a look at the UFC 273 main card bouts and make our predictions.

“Fighting" Alexander Volkanovski vs Chan Sung Jung

Volkanovski is the UFC featherweight champion and the no. 3 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. The 33-yeard old from New South Wales, Australia won the belt by defeating Max Holloway at UFC 245. He successfully defended it against Holloway via a controversial split decision at UFC 251 in July 2020 and Brian Ortega at UFC 266 last September. Volkanovski is 10-0 inside the UFC Octagon and has won 20 fights in a row overall.

He has a record of 23-1 with 11 knockouts and three wins via submission. Volkanovski stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 71 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Chan Sung Jung is the no. 4 ranked featherweight in the UFC. The 35-year old from Pohang, South Korea is a veteran who has competed for DEEP, Pancrase, World Victory Road, and WEC. Popularly known as The Korean Zombie for his come-forward style and amazing recovery skills, Chan Sung Jung challenged for the UFC featherweight title at UFC 163 but lost to Jose Aldo after suffering an injury during the fight.

The Korean Zombie has a record of 17-6 with six knockouts and eight submission wins. He is 5-7 tall with a reach of 72 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?



Chan Sung Jung


Odds from BetOnline as of 04/08/2022

Personally, I would love to see The Korean Zombie finally get his hands on UFC gold but sad to say, I don’t see it happening. TKZ is in the twilight of his career and he is facing a juggernaut in his prime in Volkanovski. Volk is tough to figure out as he can do it all and can adjust his game plan depending on what is in front of him.

I always thought Volkanovski would falter against the tougher opposition in the UFC but against Brian Ortega, he showed heart and toughness by defending submission really well. That said, I can’t think of a weakness that TKZ can take advantage of.

Zombie is known for his incredible durability, the reason for his nickname. But if Chan Sung Jung will try to prove his zombie-like recovery skills against Volkanovski, he’s getting knocked out here. Both these guys like to put pressure on their opponents. Between the two, Volkanovski is the bigger puncher. He has a great chin as well. It should be entertaining while it lasts but Volk keeps the belt.

Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski

“Fighting" Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan

Aljamain Sterling is the current UFC bantamweight champion. The 32-year old from Uniondale, New York is a former Ring of Combat and Cage Fury Fighting Championship bantamweight champion. Sterling won his first four UFC bouts then struggled in his next five bouts with a 2-3 record. Since then, he’s won six straight bouts although he won the last one controversially when then-champion Petr Yan was disqualified at UFC 259 after landing an illegal knee. That ending is why we’re having this rematch.

Sterling is 20-3 with two knockouts and eight submission wins. He stands 5-7 tall with a reach of 71 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Petr Yan is the current interim UFC bantamweight champion and the immediate former champion. As stated above, he lost the title in controversial fashion and is being given an immediate rematch. Yan is a former ACB bantamweight champion who joined the UFC in 2018. The 29-year old Russian is 8-1 inside the UFC Octagon with his DQ loss to Sterling the only blot in his UFC career.

Yan is 16-2 with seven knockouts and one submission victory. He is a switch hitter who is 5-7 tall with a reach of 67 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 04/08/2022

This one should be a lot closer than the first bout and I don’t think there will be any surprise endings here, given their history. Unlike the first bout, Sterling won’t throw the entire arsenal at Yan knowing that he faded after a couple of rounds in their first bout and Yan didn’t. Instead, Sterling will pick his shots and try to take Yan down as many times as he can.

With Yan unable to tee off, Sterling should keep this fight close all throughout. However, after watching Sterling unable to dominate Yan with his grappling and ended up striking with the harder hitter. Fortunately for him, the first bout ended with a foul. But with Yan knowing better this time around, I think that this fight will be much more easier to navigate for Yan.

It won’t be an easy win but Yan takes over right at around the same time he did in the first one. A late KO is a possibility but I think they go the distance with Yan dominating Sterling on the feet.

Prediction: Petr Yan

“Fighting" Gilbert Burns vs Khamzat Chimaev

Gilbert Burns is the no. 2 ranked welterweight in the UFC. Durinho is a former three-time world champion grappler and grappling World Cup gold medalist. The 35-year old from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is joined the UFC in 2014 and began his Octagon career with a modest 6-3 record. Burns then won five straight bouts including consecutive wins over Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia, and Tyron Woodley to earn a title shot at UFC 258. He lost via 3rd round TKO to Kamaru Usman but bounced back in his last bout to defeat Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision.

Burns is 20-4 with six knockouts and eight submission victories. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 71 inches.

Khamzat Chimaev is the no. 11 ranked welterweight in the UFC. The 27-year old from Chechnya, Russia is the UFC’s hottest prospect right now. Borz formerly competed under Brave Combat Federation before joining the UFC in 2020. He won his first two UFC bouts in a record span of 10 days and then went on to win the third fight three months later. His most recent bout was his toughest test but not only did he pass it, Chimaev emphatically stopped Li Jingliang in less than 200 seconds.

Chimaev is undefeated at 10-0 with six knockouts and four wins via submission. He is 6-2 tall with a reach of 75 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 04/08/2022

Chimaev has not fought someone with Gilbert Burns’ skillset and he’s not beaten an opponent ranked highly as the Brazilian is. But that’s not his fault. And I don’t think he cares. Borz is very well-rounded and confident that he doesn’t have to beat a big name in order to be ready for a big fight like this one.

I know there are questions about how Khamzat’s stamina will be after two rounds. I know he hasn’t taken too many hits to say he has a good chin or not. But then again, he’s been this good that his opponents haven’t been able to dish out punishment on him.

No question about Burns’ jiu-jitsu prowess and his sledgehammer right hand. However, Chimaev just looks too big for him, even on TV. and that size is going to be one of the main differences in the fight. Burns’ experience will drag this fight to deep waters but Chimaev will prove that he can be challenged but still dominate.

Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev

“Fighting" Mackenzie Dern vs Tecia Torres

Mackenzie Dern is the no 5 ranked female strawweight in the UFC. The 29-year old from Phoenix, Arizona is a former no. 1 ranked Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and an ADCC and no-Gi world champion. Dern fought under Legacy FC and Invicta FC before joining the UFC. She won her first two UFC bouts but lost to Amanda Ribas in her next bout. Dern won four in a row before losing to Marina Rodriguez in her last bout.

She is 11-2 with seven wins via submission. Dern is 5-4 tall with a reach of 63 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Tecia Torres is the no. 7 ranked female strawweight in the UFC. The 32-year old from Fall Rivers, Massachusetts was a competitor at The Ultimate Fighter: A New Champion Will Be Crowned where she lost to Carla Esparza in the quarterfinals. Torres won her first three UFC bouts, and went 3-5 but is now on a three-fight winning streak, beating Angela Hill in her most recent appearance at UFC 265 in August 2021.

Torres is 3-5 with one knockout and one submission win. She is 5-1 tall with a reach of 60 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 04/08/2022

Mackenzie Dern may be coming off a loss but in that bout, she showed improved striking which would make her a more dangerous fighter in the UFC. Dern entered the promotion hyped as a BJJ expert. But as soon as she fought high-level strikers, she was unmasked. But Dern has worked on her game and is ready for this next chapter.

Torres is a veteran fighter. She looks to be faster than Dern, has good wrestling, and has great athleticism to make herself more elusive against the BJJ ace. However, I think that Dern eventually catches Torres and takes her down where she will display the skills that made her a BJJ star.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern

“Fighting" Vinc Pichel vs Mark Madsen

Vinc Pichel was a contestant in The Ultimate Fighter: Live where he lost to Al Iaquinta after two rounds. The 39-year old from Lancaster, California has been fighting since 2009 and joined the UFC in 2012. Pichel lost his debut against Rustam Khabilov but since then, he has won seven out of his last eight bouts and is coming off a win over Austin Hubbard last August 2021.

Pichel has a record of 14-2 with 8 knockouts. Pichel is 5-10 tall with a reach of 72 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

Mark Madsen is a former Olympic silver medalist in wrestling and a five-time medalist at the wrestling World Championships. The 37-year old from Denmark began his professional MMA career at European MMA, Danish MMA, and Cage Warriors before joining the UFC in 2019. Madsen is 3-0 under the UFC and has fought just once per year.

Madsen has a record of 11-0 with three knockouts and three submission wins. He is an orthodox fighter who is 5-10 tall with a reach of 72 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 04/08/2022

Madsen is primarily a wrestler and there’s no doubt he will want to take this fight to the mat. At the age of 37, his offensive skills are limited, especially his stand-up. Aside from his jab, low kicks, and occasional combinations, he doesn’t offer much on the feet.

Pichel is much better on the feet but he doesn’t have good takedown defense and can be dragged to the mat by someone with Madsen’s skills. But while his takedown defense isn’t good, Pichel is good in scrambles and he fights hard to get back on his feet. Unless Madsen keeps this fight down for 15 minutes, Piche will keep getting back on his feet and take over when Madsen begins to tire.

Prediction: Vinc Pichel

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