Volkanovski Mauls Korean Zombie to retain belt at UFC 273 | Sports News

By MARK LONG, AP Sports Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Alexander Volkanovski maimed Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273 early Sunday, earning a technical knockout seconds after the fourth round to retain the featherweight belt.

Volkanovski, 33 (24-1), extended his pro winning streak to 21, including an 11-0 mark in UFC competition.

Jung, better known as the “Korean Zombie”, was battered, bloody and struggling to breathe after the first three rounds. He insisted he wanted to continue, but the referee stopped the fight 45 seconds into the fourth of five championship rounds.

“Too (expletive) good,” Volkanovski shouted inside the octagon after his latest win.

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‘Alexander the Great’ dealt the most blows in a fight that looked like it could end much sooner than it actually did. Volkanovski’s last four fights have gone the distance. But he was considerably faster than Jung, essentially running a mixed martial arts clinic.

“I’m on another level right now and I can’t be stopped,” Volkanovski said, adding that he hoped the referee would stop the fight sooner and he felt bad for Jung in the final minutes. .

“I felt like I hit a wall that I couldn’t get past,” said Jung, who was making his first title fight since 2013. He went 3,171 days between shots at the featherweight belt.

Jung, 35, fell to the mat after the fight was called and then indicated through an interpreter that he may consider retirement.

The main event was the most lopsided on the UFC 273 main card.

Aljamain Sterling became the undisputed bantamweight champion by defending his belt against Petr Yan. They were involved in a controversial disqualification just over a year ago. Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee after dominating the fight.

Sterling (21-3) looked like a different fighter in this one, controlling Yan on the mat for nearly eight minutes in rounds two and three. Yan (16-3) fought back in the final two rounds, doing enough to earn a split decision.

“I think I won that fight and got robbed,” Yan said. “I want revenge.”

Sterling hadn’t scheduled a trilogy fight with Yan, instead calling out former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw for his next fight.

The UFC’s third trip to Jacksonville in three years drew a packed house that included Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, Jaguars minority owner Tony Khan and legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross.

They were treated to an epic event.

Not only did they have two title fights to close out the night, but they witnessed arguably the best fight of the year. Sweden’s Khamzat Chimaev took another step towards mixed martial arts stardom with a unanimous decision over 35-year-old Brazilian Gilbert Burns in the welterweight division.

Chimaev and Burns battled for three rounds, trading punches and raising their profiles. It was Chimaev’s most impressive outing to date and proved he was a potential championship contender.

Chimaev (11-0) remained undefeated and answered any lingering questions about his quality by knocking out second-seeded Burns (20-5).

“I didn’t know he was that tough,” Chimaev said.

Chimaev had not gone to a third round in any of his previous professional fights. He was gassed and gassed by the final round of this one, his first against a ranked opponent.

“That’s what I expected,” said Chimaev, a significant cut under his left eye. “I am in pain, I have blood and I am tired.”

Other fights on the main map:

– Mackenzie Dern (12-2) used a split decision against Tecia Torres to win for the fifth time in his last six fights. With her husband and young daughter sitting cage-side, Dern dominated round two with a variety of Brazilian jiu-jitsu moves. But Torres, 32 (13-6), escaped two submission holds and was impressive in the final five minutes to nearly upset the fifth-ranked woman in the strawweight division.

– Three-time Olympian Mark Madsen (12-0) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision over 39-year-old Vinc Pichel (14-3) in the lightweight division. Madsen won a silver medal for Denmark at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

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