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Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung UFC 273 Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can the Champ Finish Korean Zombie?

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung UFC 273 Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can the Champ Finish Korean Zombie? article feature image
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Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Alexander Volkanovski.

  • The Main Event of UFC 273 features Featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski vs. 'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung.
  • Volkanovski is a heavy favorite to retain his belt and undefeated UFC record.
  • Sean Zerillo gives his betting pick for Saturday's highly anticipated fight.

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung Odds

Volkanovski Odds
-750
Jung Odds
+500
Over/Under
4.5 (-155 / +125)
Venue
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Fla.
Time
Approx. 12:20 a.m. ET
Channel
ESPN PPV
Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM.

Alexander Volkanovski will hope to extend his unbeaten run in the UFC and defend his Featherweight title for the third time on Saturday against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.

Volkanovski was initially supposed to face Max Holloway for a trilogy bout in March – but Holloway pulled out with an injury, and the UFC provided Jung with an additional month to prepare for his second title shot (lost to Jose Aldo at UFC 163).

Many consider Jung – the No. 4 Featherweight contender – as undeserving of this opportunity – and with the betting market as high as -800 (88.9%) implied in favor of the champion, Jung (+550) winning on Saturday would be nearly as big of an upset as Julianna Pena (closed +700) against Amanda Nunes.

Can Jung become the fifth Featherweight champion in UFC history – joining a list of greats that include Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, Holloway, and Volkanovski, or will the fight play out as one-sided as the betting market suggests?

Tale of the Tape

Volkanovski Jung
Record 23-1 17-6
Avg. Fight Time 16:08 12:12
Height 5’6″ 5’7″
Weight (pounds) 145 lbs. 145 lbs.
Reach (inches) 71″ 72″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 9/29/88 3/17/87
Sig Strikes Per Min 6.42 4.07
SS Accuracy 56% 43%
SS Absorbed Per Min 3.34 3.87
SS Defense 60% 55%
Take Down Avg 1.77 0.82
TD Acc 34% 47%
TD Def 70% 77%
Submission Avg 0.3 0.7

The champion should win and control most minutes in this fight, mainly if this turns into a kickboxing match. Volk is the far more efficient striker (+3.08 to +0.20 strike differential per minute), wastes much less energy (+13% accuracy), and avoids getting hit (+5% striking defense) as compared to his opponent.

The Aussie will land a high number of leg kicks (landed 48 of 57 against Brian Ortega; 67 of 101 in his second fight with Holloway) and look to slow Jung’s movement in the early stages of the fight before closing the distance and controlling the boxing exchanges with hand fighting.

Volkanovski also has some wrestling upside in this fight (1.77 per 15 minutes, 34% accuracy) if he wants to level change and mix up-tempos or techniques. However, Jung is the superior submission grappler if this fight hits the mat. Volkanovski’s jiu-jitsu is the most significant mark against his status as the pound-for-pound king.

While Volk showed exemplary heart/toughness and managed to find space to escape from Ortega’s submission attempts, he was in some terrible spots and put himself right back into those positions immediately – instead of standing up and taking the path of least resistance.

His deep submission escapes had more to do with determination/strength than flawless technique – and Zombie is just as a threat to pull an upset on the mat as Ortega was.

On the feet, Jung carries as much or more power than any fighter that Volkanovski has faced in the UFC. And while Volkanovski has never been stopped, he seems to get hurt or wobbled in each of his bouts; but he tends to recover very quickly.

On pure finishing ability, Jung has a chance to pull the massive upset. However, since he doesn’t check leg kicks, his lead leg will eventually get lit up, his movement will slow, and his power will diminish.

Jung’s best path to victory likely comes in the early stages via finish. Otherwise, he should start to wilt down the stretch when Volkanovski typically steps on the gas.

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Volkanovski vs. Jung Pick

My projection made Jung a 16% underdog (+509 implied odds) for his second title shot, but I wouldn’t touch his moneyline below +600 (14.3% implied).

Moreover, I projected a finish as 85% of his win condition (60% by KO), and I show value on Jung to win either by knockout (projected +915) or inside the distance (projected +620), which you can find as high as +1100 and +700, respectively.

While I might take a slight poke at those props, I prefer to bet the fight will end inside the distance (projected +111, listed +125 at WynnBet) or the Under 4.5 rounds (listed +130 at BetMGM) at a similar price point.

Jung is not as durable as his nickname might suggest, and Volkanovski’s decision prop is overvalued based on a recent run of decision wins (seven of his past ten fights).

He maintains an extremely high pace and creates enough attritional damage to break the vast majority of Featherweights.

If Jung doesn’t get Volkanovski out of there early, I suspect the champion will chop his lead leg down and eventually put him away.

The Pick: Fight Ends Inside the Distance (+125)

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