UFC featherweight contender Chan Sung Jung, currently ranked No. 4 at 145 pounds, was able to step in for the sidelined Max Holloway and fight reigning 145-pound titleholder Alex Volkanovski in the UFC 273 pay-per-view (PPV) main event this Sat. night (April 9, 2022) in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jung (17-6) is no stranger to featherweight title fights, having previously faced then-champion Jose Aldo for the division strap in the UFC 163 headliner back in summer 2013. Just don’t expect the same “Korean Zombie” — who turned 35 back in March — to show up this weekend in “The Sunshine State.”
“When I prepared for my first title fight, I was very nervous,” Jung said at the UFC 273 media day. “Everything was very new for me and I was very young. At that age, challenging for a world championship title was obviously very unnerving for me. I was very nervous. But now I feel I’ve become older, I’m less nervous and I’m more experienced. I’m more prepared for the fight than when I was preparing for the Aldo fight.”
After falling to Aldo in Brazil, the 17-6 “Korean Zombie” missed a couple of prime fighting years to serve in the South Korean military. Upon his return, Jung pieced together a 4-2 record with three knockouts, but also battled recurring injuries along the way. Whether or not that experience is enough to dethrone the 23-1 Volkanovski remains to be seen.
“I don’t really see myself getting knocked out by Volkanovski so I think in terms of fight IQ and how intelligent he fights, Volkanovski is the best fighter that I’ve ever experienced,” Jung continued. “I’ve been fighting with fighters that were exceptionally strong on one sort of way like grappling or striking. But Volkanovski is well balanced compared to these fighters that I met in the past, but I think I can finish Volkanovski in all these areas. I’m better than Volkanovski in all the areas of MMA.”
We’ll find out in just a few days.
For more news and notes on UFC 273 be sure to visit our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated, revised, and finalized “Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie” fight card and ESPN+ PPV lineup click here.