Saturday, May 28, 2022

Volkanovski On UFC 273 Co-Main: How Can You Bet Against Yan?

UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski has provided a prediction for the title fight set to go down prior to his defense against Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273.

While Volkanovski and “The Korean Zombie” will headline tonight’s pay-per-view, Jacksonville’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena will also play host to a blockbuster bantamweight unification clash between reigning champ Aljamain Sterling and interim titleholder Petr Yan.

While it perhaps won’t have the same level of heat as the UFC 272 grudge match last month, Sterling and Yan certainly have animosity between them, which was built on the controversial ending to their UFC 259 collision.

While “Funk Master” will be looking to legitimize his reign with his first defense, “No Mercy” will hope to regain the gold he lost via disqualification last March.

With two belts on the line in Florida this weekend, fans and pundits have been pondering whether we may see a new divisional king crowned at UFC 273.

But while Volkanovski is expecting to hear ‘and new’ at the event, he doesn’t expect it to come in the aftermath of his defense.

Volkanovski Predicts Petr Yan Will Take Over In The First 2 Rounds

During a recent interview with Morning Kombat’s Luke Thomas, Volkanovski gave his thoughts on the championship fight set to serve as an appetizer for his 11th walk to the Octagon and third title defense.

Having seen the performances of both men against each other in 2021, as well as experienced training with the Russian at Thailand’s Tiger Muay Thai facility, Volkanovski suggested he expects Yan to reclaim his place on the 135-pound throne.

“Ah man, you have to go with Petr Yan. Obviously, looking at the last one, it was unfortunate what happened, but you could see how that fight was going,” recalled Volkanovski. “I know Petr, I’ve trained with him. He’s so durable. You know he’s got the cardio, you know he’s got the heart. He’s got so many tools. How can you bet against guys like that?

“Sterling definitely had a decent round in him. That first round (at UFC 259), he had a lot of movement and all that,” added Volkanovski. “But at the same time, Petr Yan will be defensive heavy as he puts that pressure on, obviously get reads, slow you down, and even if he (Sterling) has a good round, I just think Petr Yan’s just gonna take over within the first two rounds.”

While Sterling has been on the sidelines since his title crowning owing to neck surgery and the lingering effects of it, Yan returned to action at UFC 267 last October. In a five-round war with Cory Sandhagen, he earned the judges’ nod and interim gold.

Given that performance, and the fact fans’ most recent memory of Sterling is the UFC 259 controversy, it’s perhaps unsurprising that “No Mercy” is heavily regarded as the favorite.

However, the champion’s talents are undeniable, as he proved with his first-round submission of Sandhagen in 2020. “Funk Master” will look to issue a reminder of his skills again in tonight’s co-main event.

Do you agree with Alexander Volkanovski’s prediction for Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan 2?

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