Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will defend his title against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung while Aljamain Sterling will face Petr Yan in a pair of new headliners reserved for UFC 273.
Several people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Tuesday. The card takes place on April 9 and the final location of the event is yet to be determined. Ariel helwani first reported that the match was being set up.
Jung replaces Max Holloway, who was forced out of the planned trilogy fight with Volkanovsky due to an undisclosed injury.
“The Korean Zombie”, No. 7 in the MMA Fighting World Rankings, was victorious in his last appearance. In June, Jung faced Dan Ige in the main event of UFC Vegas 29 and won a unanimous decision. The 34-year-old is 3-1 over his last four games, including first round knockouts of Frankie Edgar and Renato Moicano.
Volkanovski has won 20 consecutive fights, including a 10-0 UFC career start. The No.1 ranked featherweight in the MMA Fighting World Rankings will defend his title for the third time after successful defenses against Holloway and Brian Ortega.
UFC 273 also features the long-awaited rematch between Sterling and Yan after they were initially scheduled to meet at UFC 272 in March.
It’s unclear why the fight was moved, although Sterling claimed it was an issue with the interim bantamweight champion, while Yan’s camp told MMA Fighting that the move didn’t had nothing to do with him.
Either way, Sterling and Yan will meet again in a bantamweight title unification fight which will hopefully settle the score after their fight, which was held last March at the UFC. 259, resulted in disqualification. That night, Yan hit Sterling with an illegal knee and the New York native couldn’t continue.
Sterling took victory and the UFC bantamweight title, but he will now face Yan for the second time after the Russian was able to win the interim championship with an impressive performance against Cory Sandhagen last October.
Damon Martin of MMA Fighting contributed to this report.