Alexander Volkanovski was flawless in victory to defend his featherweight title in the UFC 273 main event.
Truth be told, the reigning 145-pound king could have easily earned a stoppage after the third round as he just punished “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung with a series of punishing strikes just before the horn sounded. Still, Jung was allowed to continue but after Volkanovski lit him up with another staggering combination, referee Herb Dean finally saw enough to stop the contest.
The end came at just 45 seconds into the fourth round.
Following his third title defense, Volkanovski admitted it was getting a little uncomfortable watching Jung take so much damage but thankfully Dean stepped in before things got even worse.
“I told you before this fight all week, I’m on another level right now,” Volkanovski said. “I can’t be stopped. He actually took a lot more than I wanted him to. I thought they could have stopped it a bit earlier. I started feeling bad in there but that’s the sport we’re in.”
It was possible Volkanovski’s best performance since becoming champion as he just beat Jung to the punch in nearly every exchange. Fast on his feet with a lot of power in his punches, Volkanovski was tagging his opponent early and often with no real fear of reprisal as “The Korean Zombie” just kept eating shots in succession.
When Jung finally did press forward, Volkanovski met him with a slick left-right combination that appeared to wobble the veteran featherweight momentarily.
The assault continued with Volkanovski just consistently beating Jung to the punch during every exchange as the reigning featherweight king was just so quick yet powerful with his strikes.
Midway through the second round, Volkanovski clubbed Jung with a massive right hand that really rattled the two-time title challenger. It appeared for a moment that Volkanovski might get the finish but Jung just refused to go away as he swung shots from his hips to keep the Australian from really unloading on him while he was still hurt.
Time after time, Volkanovski was leading with a slick left jab and then following with a powerful right behind it that was just giving Jung constant problems. Even when Jung managed to press ahead with a bit more aggression, Volkanovski showcased sound defense and then came back after him with even more stinging punches along with some stiff leg kicks for good measure.
Just before the third round ended, Volkanovski connected with another devastating right hand that put Jung down on the canvas. It appeared the fight might be stopped but time ran out with Jung holding on until the horn sounded.
The UFC commentators all agreed that perhaps Jung’s coaches should throw in the towel but he was allowed to continue. Almost as soon as the fourth round started, Volkanovski blasted Jung with one final combination that mercifully ended the fight.
“I was most confident out of my entire career,” Jung said afterwards. “I felt like I hit a wall that I could not go over. I’ll need more time to think on it to see if I will continue fighting or if I will leave the octagon. I will have to think on that.”
While Volkanovski had to cement his position as champion following back-to-back battles with Max Holloway, he has really started to pull away from the pack with his past two wins over Jung and Brian Ortega. All signs are pointing towards a third fight with Holloway as his next title defense after they were originally expected to meet at UFC 273 but Volkanovski is inviting anyone and everyone to step up to the challenge.
“Obviously there was a fight that was meant to be scheduled for this one,” Volkanovski said when referencing Holloway. “We’ll see what the UFC says.
“Everyone in my division, I’ve been saying it for a while now — get your s*** together, earn that No. 1 spot and you get it. If not, you’re going to f***** miss out, it’s that simple.”