Alexander Volkanovski will make the third defense of his featherweight title on Saturday when he takes on fourth-ranked contender Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC 273. Their battle anchors the MMA showcase from Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.. The main UFC 273 fight card is set for 10 p.m. ET. Jung, better known by his nickname, The Korean Zombie, gets his second title shot nearly nine years after coming up short against former champion Jose Aldo at UFC 163. Volkanovski is coming off an action-packed decision victory against Brian Ortega in September that received Fight of the Year consideration from numerous MMA media outlets.
Volkanovski is a -750 betting favorite (risk $750 to win $100), while Jung is priced at +525 in the latest UFC 273 odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, the bantamweight title is on the line when Petr Yan (-450) faces Aljamain Sterling (+370) in a much-anticipated rematch. Before locking in any UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie picks of your own, make sure you check out the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Andrew Gombas.
Gombas is a former NCAA wrestler who taps into his experience on the mat to dissect the X’s and O’s of MMA matchups in a manner that sets him apart from other MMA analysts. He started the MMA handicapping service MMA Knockout Bets in 2018 and has shown a profit every year since.
With more than 1,400 selections tracked by the third-party monitoring service Bet MMA, he has shown a 6 percent return on investment for his followers. Over the past two years, his followers have netted a profit of more than $10,000.
Gombas launched the 2022 UFC season in January by telling SportsLine members to support Calvin Kattar (+200) against Giga Chikadze (-240) in a battle of ranked featherweight contenders in the main event. Kattar dominated wire to wire to give Gombas’ followers an easy winner. Anyone who has followed him already has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie looming, Gombas has studied the card from every angle and released his top MMA picks. You can only see Gombas’ UFC 273 picks at SportsLine.
UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie preview
Volkanovski (23-1) has quickly emerged from a promising contender to one of the most skilled fighters and dominant champions in the UFC. He currently sits No. 3 in the promotion’s pound-for-pound rankings behind middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and welterweight king Kamaru Usman.
The former professional rugby player has shown a fearsome striking game to go along with great endurance and resilience. He gained control of the division with two decision victories over popular former champion Max Holloway, who is now the top-ranked contender at featherweight.
Despite already holding two wins over Holloway, a trilogy match was originally scheduled to be the main event on Saturday, in large part because their rematch at UFC 251 resulted in a split decision that many observers believed should have gone to Holloway. But Holloway withdrew because of lingering injuries to pave the way for the fan-favorite Jung to get a title shot.
Following his title-shot loss to Aldo, Jung (17-6) saw his MMA career derailed by mandatory military service in his native South Korea. The 35-year-old has won four of six since returning to the UFC, with one of the losses coming by knockout with one second left against No. 3-ranked Yair Rodriguez. The other defeat was a lopsided decision against the No. 2-ranked Ortega.
Jung is known for his ability to deliver damage and withstand it in equal measure, with his nickname owing to his penchant for walking through powerful blows to give some of his own. He is coming off a lopsided decision victory last June against Dan Ige, who is now ranked No. 10. You can only see who to back at UFC 273 at SportsLine.
UFC 273 expert predictions
We’ll reveal one of Gombas’ UFC 273 selections here: He is going with Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-150) to get past Marcin Tybura (+130) in a matchup of middling heavyweight prospects.
Rozenstruik (12-3) was once a fast-rising contender, but the power puncher has dropped three of his last five while facing world-class opposition. He has dropped fights to current champion Francis Ngannou and fourth-ranked Curtis Blaydes.
The versatile Tybura (22-7) cracked the top 15 in the UFC rankings behind a five-fight winning streak, but saw his momentum halted by a decision loss to veteran Alexander Volkov in October.
“Rozenstruik is undoubtedly the better striker. Tybura will look to score takedowns. I see Rozenstruik keeping the fight standing and believe he will land a knockout shot,” Gombas told SportsLine.
How to make UFC 273 picks
Gombas also has strong picks for Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie and other fights on the UFC 273 card. He’s also backing a fighter who “put on a masterclass performance” in his last fight to emerge with another dominant victory. Those UFC 273 picks are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie? And which fighter is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC 273, all from the insider who’s up more than $10,000 on MMA picks the past two years, and find out.
UFC 273 odds, fight card
Alexander Volkanovski (-750) vs. Chan Sung Jung (+525)
Petr Yan (-450) vs. Aljamain Sterling (+370)
Khamzat Chimaev (-550) vs. Gilbert Burns (+425)
Tecia Torres (-110) vs. Mackenzie Dern (-110)
Vinc Pichel (-135) vs. Mark Madsen (+115)
Anthony Hernandez (-200) vs. Josh Fremd (+175)
Raquel Pennington (-185) vs. Aspen Ladd (+165)
Piera Rodriguez (-130) vs. Kay Hansen (+110)
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-150) vs. Marcin Tybura (+130)
Jared Vanderaa (-110) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (-110)
Julio Arce (-190) vs. Daniel Santos (+170)
Ian Garry (-380) vs. Darian Weeks (+310)
Mike Malott (-200) vs. Mickey Gall (+170)