Reigning UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has picked City Kickboxing teammate, Alexander Volkanovski to successfully remain featherweight champion come the conclusion of UFC 273 next weekend – picking the New South Wales native to stop Chan Sung Jung with a knockout victory.
Israel Adesanya, who headlined UFC 271 back in February, landed a second career win over former division champion, Robert Whittaker with a unanimous decision victory – secured his fourth successful defense of the middleweight crown.
For Volkanovski, the Freestyle Fighting Gym trainee was initially set to meet with former featherweight kingpin, Max Holloway in a trilogy matchup before an aggravated injury forced the latter to withdraw from the bout.
In turn, the Australian now meets the #4 ranked, Jung – with the South Korea native attempting to secure the featherweight crown at the second time of trying.
Volkanovski’s most recent outing came against two-time title challenger, Brian Ortega at UFC 266 back in September, turning in a Fight of the Year contender with a unanimous judging win over the Los Angeles native.
Alexander Volkanovski improved to 23-1 as UFC 266 with his unanimous decision win over Brian Ortega
For Jung, the Pohang native rebounded from a loss of his own against Ortega – utilizing a wrestling and grappling-heavy game plan to knock back Hawaii native, Dan Ige in a main event slot at UFC Vegas 29 back in June.
Sharing his thoughts on Volkanovski’s matchup with Jung next weekend in Jacksonville, Florida – Israel Adesanya praised the style the challenger brings, but picked Volkanovski to land a knockout victory given his supreme power.
“Look, they call this guy (Chan Sung Jung) ‘The Korean Zombie’ for a reason, cause he’s a zombie, he walks forward, he takes shots to give shots,” Israel Adesanya said on his official YouTube channel. “(Alexander) Volkanovski is disciplined, he’s super fit and he hits hard. One plus one, equals knockout. That’s how I see this going.”
“He’s (Jung) tough, I remember the fight with Leonard Garcia when he was just rock and sock ‘em robot, Fight of the Year type sh*t, but that was years ago, and those types of fights take it out of you,” Israel Adesanya explained. “Being a zombie takes it out of you. I like the zombie, he’s cool – he’s f*cking crazy, he fights like a maniac, but you have a guy like Alexander Volkanovski, yeah, that’s not an easy task, so yeah, sorry. Knockout, Alexander Volkanovski – he (Jung) gets hit a lot, he (Volkanovski) hits very hard.”