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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 10, (AP): Alexander Volkanovski mauled Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273 early Sunday, earning a technical knockout seconds into the fourth round to retain the featherweight belt. The 33-year-old Volkanovski (24- 1) extended his professional winning streak to 21, including an 11-0 mark in UFC competition. Jung, better known as “the Korean Zombie,” was battered, bloodied and struggling to breathe after the first three rounds. He insisted he wanted to keep going, but the referee stopped the bout 45 seconds into the fourth of five championship rounds. “Too (expletive) good,” Volkanovski shouted inside the octagon after his latest victory. “Alexander the Great” delivered most of the blows in a fight that looked like it might end much earlier than it actually did.
Volkanovski’s last four fights went the distance. But he was considerably quicker than Jung, essentially putting on a clinic in mixed martial arts. “I’m on another level right now and I can’t be stopped,” Volkanovski said, adding he was hoping the ref would halt the fight sooner and that he felt bad for Jung in the final minutes. “It felt like I hit a wall that I could not go over,” said Jung, who was making his first title bout since 2013. He went 3,171 days between shots at the mafeatherweight belt. The 35-year-old Jung dropped to the mat after the fight was called and later indicated through an interpreter that he might consider retirement. The main event was the most lopsided on UFC 273’s main card.
Aljamain Sterling became the undisputed bantamweight champion by defending his belt against Petr Yan. They were involved in a controversial disqualification a little more than a year ago. Yan was DQ’d for an illegal knee after dominating the fight. Sterling (21-3) looked like a different fighter in this one, controlling Yan on the mat for nearly eight minutes in the second and third rounds. Yan (16- 3) battled back in the final two rounds, doing enough to get a split decision. “I think I won this fight and I got robbed,” Yan said. “I want a rematch.” Sterling had no plans for a trilogy fight with Yan, instead calling out former bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw for his next bout. UFC’s third trip to Jacksonville in three years drew a packed house that included Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, Jaguars minority owner Tony Khan and legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross.