UFC 273 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie
UFC 273 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie
Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan Prediction
Co-Main Event – UFC Bantamweight (135lbs) Championship Bout – Approx. Start Time: 11:45 p.m. EST.
This rematch has been in the making for over a year. During that time, I’ve been salivating at the prospect of betting Aljamain “Aljo” Sterling at a seriously blown-up price, due to the bias of people seeing how their first encounter played out, combined with the sheer disdain that lingers over Aljo after he took the DQ victory. That said, I’m now feeling slightly less bullish on Sterling.
He closed in their first fight as a slight dog (per BestFightOdds.com), and now he’s sat at +380 (best odds), which is an insane shift following just one fight, and one where Aljo fought to a terrible game plan, which caused him to gas out early and look terrible. With this in mind, I do still want to take a stand on Aljo, as I think he’s got the tools to make this competitive. He’s tall and rangy, has a clean high-volume striking, and a strong grappling game. However, I do seriously rate Yan’s skills too, and he’s got a style which, no matter who is in front of him, you feel like he’s always going to just out-perform them, particularly as the fight goes later after he’s established his reads and sets his own pace.
So, ultimately, I will be taking some Aljo moneyline on principle, but my main play for this fight will be on the “goes the distance” prop. Neither guy is what I’d consider to be a perennial finisher in the UFC, and that’s with consideration given to Yan having some caveated stoppage wins against notable opposition; Jose Aldo (who isn’t built for high-paced 5 rounders anymore *that he isn’t dominating*), Urijah Faber (old AF and one fight removed from returning from retirement), and Douglas Silva de Andrade (which was a corner stoppage, and he is significantly less talented than Yan). It appears to me that most people saw Aljo wilt in their first fight due to the crazy pace he elected to fight at, and instantly assume he’s going to do that again. I would be shocked to see Aljo come in with the same strategy, and for that reason, I don’t see him significantly fading, at least not enough to get put away. Yan can TKO anyone on accumulation, and we’ve seen that Aljo can submit guys as talented on the mat as Cory Sandhagen, but at -108, I think we’re getting some solid value on that not happening here.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan Pick
- Bet of the Card: (2.5u) Fight Goes The Distance @ -108 (to Return 2.315 Units) (Bet $108 to Win $100)
- (1u) Aljamain Sterling Moneyline @ +380 (to Return 3.8 Units) (Bet $100 to Win $380)
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Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev Prediction
Main Card - Welterweight (170lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 11:15 p.m. EST.
I’m always apprehensive about buying into hype trains, as around 80% of them typically fizzle out before they meet ranked opposition. They can look incredibly skilled and technically sound early into their careers, but when they reach someone who poses new problems, they can crumble due to the adversity, as their skills either don’t translate against a higher-level opponent, or they’re just not fully prepared, either physically or mentally for the challenge at hand.
Chimaev has now met and beaten a ranked opponent, Jingliang Li, and he did so with ease. This shows that he’s undoubtedly a talent, and now a win over a former title challenger, Gilbert Burns, should put it beyond all doubt that he’s the real deal. In most instances, I await to see how fights like this playout, or take a stand on the trusted commodity at a big number (in this case that’d be Burns), but with Chimaev, I’m not going to be doing either of those things, as I believe he is ready to beat the best guys in the world right now.
The only real questions with him are, “how good is his chin?”, “can he keep up his insane pace for 15 or 25 minutes?”, and “how good is his grappling defense, particularly in regard to submission defense?”. To this point, we have no way of knowing these for sure, and that’s because we haven’t had the chance due to the dominant nature in which he’s won his fights. I will say, however, I have no reason to believe he wouldn’t have a decent level of durability, given his age and lack of damage taken in his fights. His cardio and pace are said to be incredible by anyone who has seen him train at Allstars. And, his offensive grappling looks so good, it'd be hard to imagine that his grappling defense would be bad, or that he’d get caught by a submission.
Chimaev should have Burns covered in all aspects here, with him only giving up the advantage in submission grappling and general fighting experience. Burns is not to be slept on as he is an extremely dangerous fighter, but I see limited reasons to think that Chimaev can’t run through him. His size and strength advantage will be massive, and at range. I favor him to land the more damaging shots, and when grappling, I see him being the fighter controlling things and landing fight-ending blows. Burns has got the skills to pull off a crazy submission or wild KO, but I just don’t see it occurring at any decent rate. I expect Chimaev to dominate this from start to finish, and because of that, I have his KO/TKO/DQ prop labeled as good value, as a submission seems unlikely against a former BJJ world champion, and it’d take some effort by Burns to get this to the scorecards.
Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev Pick
- (2u) Khamzat Chimaev via KO/TKO, or DQ @ +150 (to Return 5 Units) (Bet $100 to Win $150)
- (0.5u) Khamzat Chimaev via Round 1 KO/TKO @ +280 (to Return 1.9 Units) (Bet $100 to Win $280)
Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie Prediction
Main Event - UFC Featherweight (145lbs) Championship Bout – Approx. Start Time: 00:30 a.m. EST.
This is a fairly cut and dry fight to break down. Similarly, to my thoughts on the Chimaev vs. Burns fight, Alexander Volkanovski has Chan Sung Jung, perhaps better known as “The Korean Zombie” (TZK), pretty well covered in all aspects of MMA. Jung does have a slightly better submission game, and a marginally larger frame, but for what Volkanovski lacks in those regards, he makes up for with his elite submission defense, strength, and quickness.
Volkanovski should dictate where this fight takes place, and at what pace. Volk’s too calculated, precise, and well-rounded, for him not to call the shots in this affair. This could frustrate Zombie into forcing the action with aggression and forward motion, and truth be told, that’s the approach that will offer up his strongest path to victory for him.
Regardless of whether TKZ does take the more confrontational approach or not, I do think the pace of Volk invariably gets to him at some point, and consequently, brings about the end of the fight. Volkanovski hasn’t proven to be a big hitter, and TKZ does historically have good durability (once considered legendary), but I think the skill and athleticism gap at this point in their careers is just simply too wide.
So, whether TKZ does his best to create a volatile fight, thus providing him with some improved chances of getting the finish, or whether Volkanovski eventually wears TKZ down, forcing the finish later in the fight, I think we’re looking at a stoppage slightly more often than not, which means the plus-money on the fight not going the distance, is a solid play.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie Pick
- (2u) Fight Doesn’t Go The Distance @ +128 (to Return 2.56 Units) (Bet $100 to Win $128)
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Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie / UFC 273: Volk vs. Zombie / UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Jung / #UFC273
Location & Venue: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Date: Saturday, April 9th, 2022
Start Time: Main Card: 10 p.m. EST., Prelims: 8 p.m. EST., Early Prelims: 6 p.m. EST.
Where To Watch: Main Card on PPV, Prelim Card on ESPN/ESPN+, Early Prelims on ESPN+
UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie Full Fight Card Predictions:
UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie Main Event Prediction:
Featherweight (145lbs): Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung – Volkanovski via KO/TKO
UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie Main Card Predictions:
Bantamweight (135lbs): Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan – Sterling via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev – Chimaev via KO/TKO
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres – Torres via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen – Madsen via Decision
UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie Prelim Card Predictions:
Welterweight (170lbs): Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks – Garry via Decision
Heavyweight (265lbs): Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Marcin Tybura - Rozenstruik via KO/TKO
(W) Bantamweight (135lbs): Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington – Pennington via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott – Malott via Decision
UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie Early Prelim Card Predictions:
Heavyweight (265lbs): Aleksei Oleinik vs. Jared Vanderaa – Oleinik via Submission
Middleweight (185lbs): Anthony Hernandez vs. Josh Fremd – Hernandez via Submission
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Piera Rodriguez vs. Kay Hansen – Rodriguez via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Julio Arce vs. Daniel Santos – Arce via Decision
*Fight card, bout order, and number of fights are subject to change.