Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski (24-1, 11-0 UFC) has retained his Featherweight title in style, defeating Korea’s Chan Sung Jung (17-7, 7-4 UFC) by fourth round TKO at UFC 273.
The 32 year old was seemingly untouchable, turning in a performance that ultimately rubber stamped his status as one of MMA’s true elites.
Volkanovski immediately set about implementing his trademark busy style. The first three minutes of the contest turned into a striking masterclass by the Woolongong native, who used feints, jabs and inside leg kicks to set up heavy hooks.
The clear disparity in stiking speed and accuracy showed in the closing seconds of the first. Moving forward, ‘The Korean Zombie’ wore a heavy overhand right and another inside low kick, resulting in two uncredited flash knockdowns.
Despite the wide gap created in the first, Chan Sung Jung showed that he would, much like he has throughout his career, not lie down easy. In the opening moments of the second, he landed two front kicks that got the champion’s attention.
Volkanovski remained composed however, timing his opponent’s every movement thereafter to land heavy check hooks and straight right hands in return.
By the time the fight had entered the third, Volkanovski had landed 58% of his strikes, such was his dominance. The difference in skill was signified by a devastating one-two combination that dropped Chan Sung Jung in the final seconds of the round.
Here, the New South Welshman began unloading with ground and pound strikes, but could not secure the stoppage before the horn sounded.
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Although Chan Sung Jung returned for the fourth round, referee Herb Dean called the cageside doctor in to assess the challenger before action recommenced.
Whille the challneger chose to contine, the result was essentially academic.
After Volkanovski landed yet another punishing right hand to stagger his opponent, Dean was left no choice but to call a stop to the contest.
With the fourth round TKO victory, the Australian chalked up his third straight title defence. He also lived up to his moniker of ‘The Great,’ both in terms of current pound for pound standings and amongst all Featherweights.
As for Volkanovski’s next move, it appears that a third meeting with former champion Max Holloway (23-6, 19-6 UFC) is all but guaranteed. Though the UFC belt will be the main prize, the pair of combatants will have their legacies on the line, should the fight be made.
Having faced and beaten a plethora of the UFC’s best Featherweights, both men can make the legitmate claim to be the second best 145 pound fighter in the sport’s history behind living legend Jose Aldo. The argument might even be made that either of the duo is number one all-time, given their dominance.
Regardless, Volkanovski’s emphatic win at UFC 273 solidifies his place among the very top echelon of MMA’s incredibly deep waters.
For all of the results from UFC 273, click here.
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