Alex Volkanovski showed he is in the form of his life with a clinical performance to defend his UFC featherweight title.
Alexander Volkanovski has put on an absolute clinic to defend his UFC featherweight title for the third time against Jung Chan-Sung, better known as “The Korean Zombie”, on Sunday.
The Australian came out swinging and had the upper hand from the get-go as he pummelled Zombie with a barrage of leg kicks and jabs to his opponent’s face and body.
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Volkanovski looked ultra sharp and showcased his all-round fighting skills as he took Zombie down late in the third round and hammered him with some ground and pound, leaving his face bloodied.
But Zombie didn’t last much longer and a brutal jab from Volkanovski that had him seeing stars was enough for referee Herb Dean to call a stop to the fight early in the fourth round.
Volkanovski won the fight via technical knockout, with all three judges scoring the bout 30-26 in his favour.
It was the easiest title defence of his career after he previously held onto his belt with blockbuster wins over Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.
So dominant was Volkanovski, the UFC later confirmed Korean Zombie had been taken to hospital and would not be speaking to the media.
Volkanovski also kept his unbeaten UFC record intact as he notched up his 21st consecutive win.
The 33-year-old is at the top of his game and called out the rest of the featherweight division to challenge him.
“I’m on another level now right now,” he said after the fight.
“I can’t be stopped and I just showed you.
“Everyone in my division, I’ve been saying it for a while now — get your s*** together, earn that No. 1 spot and you’ll get it. If not, you’re going to f***ing miss out. It’s that simple.”
UFC commentator Joe Rogan was full of praise for Volkanovski.
“You put on a clinic tonight,” Rogan told him.
“It was in my opinion your greatest performance inside the octagon. Your movement, your speed — everything was on another level.”
Round 1: A strong start by Volkanovski, landing some strong leg kicks to the body of Korean Zombie.
The Aussie looks sharp and has come out swinging, connecting with some brutal jabs to the face of his opponent, who already looks wobbly.
“Zombie seems a step behind right now,” Joe Rogan said in commentary.
Round 2: Volkanovski is dominating and took Zombie down to the canvas several times in that round and got the upper hand in the wrestle.
He also landed some strong jabs and is now searching for the killer blow.
Round 3: Volkanovski is executing a flawless fight, constantly connecting with heavy blows. He knocked Zombie down and left bloodied his face with some brutal ground and pound.
Round 4: The fight was stopped by the referee after a Volkanovski jab left Zombie utterly dazed.
‘I got robbed’: Wild battle confirms champ
Aljamain Sterling has been crowned the UFC bantamweight champion in a brutally tight fight in a split 48-47×2 to Sterling and one 48-47 to Yan.
There is absolutely no love lost between Sterling and Petr Yan.
There’s been bad blood throughout the lead up but it all stems from the UFC 259 fight where Yan, who then held the title, was disqualified after he kneed Sterling in the head after he’d gone down.
Sterling was even left in tears as he threw he belt down in disgust: “Everything I worked for to this point and to have it f***ing go like that.”
It’s been a bitter lead up to the fight.
Yan had won the interim championship against Cory Sandhagen in October last year but he really just wanted to win the belt he lost 13 months ago.
As fans in Jacksonville chanted “let’s go Petr”, in the first round, Joe Rogan said that there is a school of though that you “can’t win a title because of disqualifcation. Maybe you’re able to lose one but you shouldn’t be able to be champion because of disqualication. It doesn’t seem right.”
But Sterling did not get the memo.
After a close first round, Sterling got a takedown in the second and dominated.
There were calls for a 10-8 round as Sterling rained down punches and Yan looked spent.
Approaching the midway of the third round, Sterling landed another takedown with a body triangle around Yan’s waist again as he went for the rear-naked choke.
Somehow Yan made it through another round despite Sterling controlling from the back for most of the round.
And round four Yan bounced back.
The commentators questioned whether it could be 2-all heading into the final round, which Yan appeared to win.
But the result will be hotly debated after as social media believed it could go a multitude of ways.
“Oh my god, Jacksonville,” Sterling screamed. “I know I came here very highly doubted after my last performance but I told you guys, that was a hiccup. I had a tough ass opponent in Petr Yan, he’s dangerous, he brings it every time and he brought the best of me. He beat my a** in that fourth and fifth round but this is what the fight game is all about.
“So Vegas, all you motherf**kers who keep writing me off, keep doubting me motherf**er becasue everyone around me will get filthy f**king rich. Motherf**ker.”
He then called out TJ Dillashaw for his next fight.
But Yan isn’t going anywhere.
Asked though a translator if he thought he won, Yan said: “I think I won this fight and I got robbed.”
UFC bloodbath is absolute madness
Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev was a highly anticipated clash between two stars of the welterweight division.
It was well expected to have fireworks as Chimaev has earned 10 straight wins including four in the UFC and is looking to fight some of the big boys in the division.
And he got it with the second ranked welterweight Burns as Chimaev looks to fly up the rankings.
What the UFC was give was a brutal bloodbath of a fight that was packed with huge haymakers and both men getting knocked down.
After the fight, Joe Rogan could only say: “what a fight, what a fight, that was a close one.”
The only bad thing you could say about the fight is that it should have been five because it was absolute madness in the octagon.
The result was unanimous 29-28 to Chimaev but there is no doubt both men’s stock will rise on the back of that war as fans debated whether it should have gone the other way.
Content creator Bryan Fonseca tweeted: “I can’t believe Gilbert Burns, not only survived, but nearly won this fight multiple times in round 2. He pushed Chimaev and Chimaev answered. $50 G’s”.
Novelist Gordon Gross said: “Put it in the Hall of Fame. Unbelievable.”
Singer/songwriter Robbie Glover wrote: “Gilbert Burns deserves all the respect in the world!! That was incredible!!” He then wrote: “Wow, that was one of the most insane fights, FOTY potential no doubt!! Total on the edge of your seat viewing, incredible!!”
UFC anchor Karyn Bryant added: “Incredible fight from @GilbertDurinho and @KChimaev! The @ufc WW division is so blessed my word…”
Jackass’ Steve-O tweeted: “If that wasn’t the fight of the night, then this promises to be the greatest PPV in @ufc history!”
‘Disgusting’: Monster KO leaves UFC reeling
The UFC 273 card has got off to just the start fights fans like to see as UFC debutant Mike Malott KOed Mickey Gall in a brilliant first round finish.
With blood pouring out of his nose, Malott landed a right behind Gall’s ear before a shocking left that saw his opponent faceplant hard on the canvas.
It was a stunning end and an brilliant statement on debut.
As the commentators erupted, Joe Rogan could be heard saying “oh my goodness” in the background.
“Wow, wow, what a left hook,” Rogan said.
Paul Felder added: “Not too shabby at all. That was a left hook right, right on the button and folded Mickey. Woo.”
But Malott wasn’t done, directing fans to his Instagram after the fight, donating his show money of $10,000 to a friend who’s 15-year-old daughter was diagnosed with stage three lymphoma.
He finished he would donate it to: “Help this beautiful family through this time and kick cancer’s a**. F**k cancer.”
Social media lost it for the moment.
UFC middleweight Julian Marquez tweeted: “That Malott hook is absolutely disgusting! Oof!”
MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck added: “Wow! That was nasty from Mike Malott.”
ESPN’s Marc Raimondi wrote: “My goodness, that left hook. Mike Malott!”
Security separate Sterling, Yan ahead of grudge match
The blood was clearly bad at the weigh in for UFC 273 and no surprises after Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan had to be separated by security backstage following the weigh-ins yesterday.
Sterling posted a video of him and teammate Merab Dvalishvili calling out Yan after tense scenes on stage in the face-off.
Dana White stood between the pair but it looked the whole time like it was about to erupt.
The pair traded trash talk and tried to get to each other as security held them at a distance.
“Hey, tomorrow. My friend, tomorrow,” Sterling shouts at Yan as he’s led away.
It has been an ugly few days for the pair as they fight for the bantamweight crown.
Yan previously held the title but lost it when he hit Sterling with an illegal knee in their last fight, earning a disqualification.
Sterling showed up at the press conference with a Jacksonville Jaguars helmet and an MMA rule book for dummies.
“I’ll kill him on Saturday,” Yan said.
“I finally get to shut this motherf—er up,” Sterling responded, calling Yan “dirty”.
Full UFC 273 card
Alexander Volkanovski defeated Jung Chan-Sung ‘The Korean Zombie’ via TKO (30-26 x 3)
Aljamain Sterling (C) defeated Petr Yan (IC) via unanimous decision (48-47×2 47-48)
Khamzat Chimaev defeated Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision (29-28×3)
Mackenzie Dern defeated Tecia Torres via split decision (29-28×2, 28-29)
Mark Madsen defeated Vinc Pichel via unanimous decision (30-27×2, 29-28)
Ian Garry defeated Darian Weeks via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)
Anthony Hernandez defeated Josh Fremd via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Raquel Pennington defeated Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Mike Malott defeated Mickey Gall via TKO – round 1, 3.41
Aleksei Oleinik defeated Jared Vanderaa via submission (scarf hold) – round 1, 3.39
Piera Rodriguez defeated Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (29-28×3)
Julio Arce defeated Daniel Santos via unanimous decision (30-27×2, 29-28)