Alexander Volkanovski vs. ‘Korean Zombie,’ Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan Booked for UFC 273
UFC 273 will feature a championship doubleheader at the top of the card.
Alexander Volkanovski will defend his featherweight crown against Chan Sung Jung, while Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan will meet in a bantamweight title rematch on April 9 at an as yet to be determined location. Ariel Helwani was first to report the UFC 273 title bouts.
Volkanovski was initially slated to face Max Holloway in a trilogy bout at UFC 272 on March 5, but the Hawaiian was forced to pull out of the fight with an undisclosed injury. Sterling vs. Yan was also scheduled for UFC 272, but their bout was postponed for one month, which “The Funkmaster” claimed was due to his opponent.
The 33-year-old Volkanovski claimed the featherweight crown with a unanimous decision triumph over Holloway at UFC 245 before winning a highly-contentious split verdict in their rematch at UFC 251. Most recently, he defended the strap with a decision win over Brian Ortega in a “Fight of the Year” candidate at UFC 266 this past September to run his professional winning streak to 20.
This will be Jung’s second championship opportunity after “The Korean Zombie” fell to Jose Aldo in a featherweight title tilt at UFC 163 in August 2013. The Fight Ready member has won three of his four promotional appearances since 2019 and is coming off a five-round verdict over Dan Ige in the UFC on ESPN 25 headliner on June 19.
Sterling captured bantamweight gold in controversial fashion at UFC 259, when an illegal knee from Yan in the fourth round of their title tilt resulted in a disqualification victory for “The Funk Master.” Sterling is currently on a six-bout UFC winning streak that includes triumphs over the likes of Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera. Sterling was supposed to face Yan in a rematch this past October but the fight was postponed as the Serra-Longo Fight Team member recovered from neck surgery.
Yan, who most felt was winning the fight with Sterling before the untimely foul, claimed the interim belt with a decision win over Cory Sandhagen in his most recent outing at UFC 267. Prior to the Sterling bout, “No Mercy” was on a 10-bout professional winning streak that included a thrashing of Jose Aldo to claim the vacant bantamweight throne at UFC 251.
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