Alexander Volkanovski pummels Chan Sung Jung, retains UFC featherweight title

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Alexander Volkanovski vowed to finish Saturday night, something he hasn’t done to an opponent since becoming UFC featherweight champion. One of the best fighters in the world kept his promise.

Volkanovski stopped “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung via TKO (punches) 45 seconds into the fourth round on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 273 here at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. With the win, Volkanovski landed his third featherweight title defense.

It was one-way traffic the whole way, Volkanovski doing damage to Jung at every turn. Volkanovski dropped Jung late in the third round and nearly finished him with the ground and the pound.

Going into the fourth, it was pretty clear that referee Herb Dean was keeping tabs on Jung, whose face was badly scarred and whose nose looked broken. When Volkanovski landed a big combo early in the fourth, Dean stepped in to stop him even though Jung was still standing.

“He actually took a lot more than I wanted to,” Volkanovski said in his post-fight interview. “I thought they could have stopped him earlier. That’s the sport we’re in.”

ESPN ranked Volkanovski No. 4 on its pound-for-pound MMA list. At featherweight, Volkanovski is ranked No. 1 and Jung is No. 9. Max Holloway, whom Volkanovski has beaten twice in title fights, was Volkanovski’s original opponent before withdrawing due to a wound.

“Everyone in my division, I’ve been saying that for a while now,” Volkanovski said. “Get together and earn that No. 1 spot. If you don’t, you’re going to miss out.”

Volkanovski dropped Jung with a right hand late in the first round, then took him down again with a leg kick right after. It was more big combos for Volkanovski in round two.

Jung, who had the support of the crowd, started the third round strong. But soon after, Volkanovski regained the upper hand. It felt like he nailed every combination he threw, including the one at the end of the round that nearly stopped Jung. At the start of the fourth, it was over.

“I was the most confident of my entire career,” Jung said. “I wasn’t tired. I was ready to go. But I felt like I had a wall that I couldn’t get through.”

Volkanovski (24-1) has won 11 straight to start his UFC career and 21 straight overall. The Australian native defended his title against Brian Ortega via unanimous decision at UFC 266 last September and now has three successful title defenses. Volkanovski, 33, defeated Holloway to claim the belt at UFC 245 in December 2019.

Jung (17-7) had won three of his previous four fights. The Korea native was coming off a unanimous decision win over Dan Ige last June. Jung, 35, passed Dan Henderson on Saturday as the UFC fighter with the longest time between title fights. Aldo defeated Jung at UFC 163 on August 3, 2013.

Afterwards, Jung said he might consider retirement.

“I’ll have to think about it,” he said.