Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will defend his title against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung while Aljamain Sterling rematches Petr Yan in a pair of new headliners booked for UFC 273.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Tuesday. The card takes place on April 9 with the final location for the event still to be determined. Ariel Helwani first reported that the matchup was being put together.
Jung steps in for Max Holloway, who was forced out of the planned trilogy fight with Volkanovski due to an undisclosed injury.
“The Korean Zombie,” No. 7 in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings, was victorious in his most recent appearance. In June, Jung took on Dan Ige in the main event of UFC Vegas 29 and picked up a unanimous decision win. The 34-year-old is 3-1 over his last four, including first-round knockouts of Frankie Edgar and Renato Moicano.
Volkanovski has won 20 straight bouts including a 10-0 start to his UFC career. The No. 1 ranked featherweight in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings will defend his title for the third time after successful defenses over Holloway and Brian Ortega.
UFC 273 also features the long awaited rematch between Sterling and Yan after they were originally expected to meet at UFC 272 in March.
It’s unclear why the fight was moved, though Sterling claimed that it was a problem with the interim bantamweight champion, while Yan’s camp told MMA Fighting the move had nothing to do with him.
Regardless, Sterling and Yan will meet again in a bantamweight title unification bout that will hopefully settle the score after their fight fight, held this past March at UFC 259, ended in a disqualification. On that night, Yan blasted Sterling with an illegal knee, and the New York native was unable to continue.
Sterling was awarded the victory and the UFC bantamweight title, but now he’ll face off with Yan for a second time after the Russian was able to claim the interim championship with an impressive showing against Cory Sandhagen this past October.
MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin contributed to this report.