UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is expected to make his first 145-pound title defense against former division kingpin Max Holloway at some point later this summer, once the promotion figures out how to get everyone to “Fight Island.”
The winner of that championship rematch will likely emerge with a challenger already in the queue, as UFC President Dana White recently told ESPN that top featherweight contenders, Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung, will throw leather at an upcoming event.
“Ortega and The Korean Zombie are gonna fight,” White said (transcribed by Guilherme Cruz). “You know how I just went out and said (about the Tony) Ferguson fight against (Justin) Gaethje, I said ‘I absolutely, positively guarantee you that this fight will be great.’ That’s the same thing with Brian Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie, there’s no way this fight is boring. And the guy that comes out of that fight would be next in line for a title shot.”
Ortega (14-1, 1 NC) and Jung (16-5) were expected to collide at UFC Busan last December; however, “T-City” was felled by injury and forced to withdraw, paving the way for Frankie Edgar to step in (and lose) on short notice in what proved to be “The Answer’s” final featherweight appearance.
With “Korean Zombie” coming in from overseas, it would stand to reason that UFC will also book this 145-pound grudge match for “Fight Island,” perhaps on the same card as Volkanovski-Holloway to keep everyone’s timelines in sync.