UFC 273 Live

UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie odds, predictions: MMA insider reveals surprising fight card picks
SportsLine’s Andrew Gombas locked in his MMA picks for Chan Sung Jung vs. Alexander Volkanovski

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Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski says he considers Saturday’s title defense in the main event of UFC 273 against Chan Sung Jung a “legacy fight” considering his opponent’s pedigree. Their matchup is the second of two championship bouts on the main UFC 273 card card (10 p.m. ET) from Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. Earlier this week, Volkanovksi told the media he sees Jung, better known as The Korean Zombie, as the latest in a line of MMA legends he has faced, and another victory will bolster his overall resume. He already has defeated decorated former champions like Max Holloway and Jose Aldo. Jung is one of the most popular fighters on the UFC roster because of his action-packed fights and the way he embraces The Korean Zombie persona.

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 picking Raquel Pennington (-185) to get past Aspen Ladd (+165) in a battle of women’s bantamweight contenders.

Ladd (9-2) came to the UFC as a well-regarded prospect following a 5-0 run through the Invicta FC promotion that included four finishes. The 27-year-old Californian lived up to the hype by winning her first three UFC Fights, two of those coming inside the distance. However, issues with making weight and various injuries have limited her to just two appearances in the past 30 months and she split them. Ladd is coming off a decision loss to Norma Dumont in a featherweight fight in October.

Pennington is an eight-year veteran and perennial contender who challenged for the title but lost to Amanda Nunes in May 2018. However, following another loss to former champion Holly Holm, the 33-year-old Colorado native has ripped off three consecutive victories. She notched a second-round submission against prospect Macy Chiasson in December.

“Ladd is skilled in top control but doesn’t have great wrestling or stand-up skills. I believe Pennington will keep this on the feet and win a clear decision,” 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) 

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