Welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev becomes an honorary Florida Man Saturday night at UFC 273.
STATS & ANALYSIS

UFC 273: Florida Man Fight Night

From the PPV buys and gate revenue to the sheer unpredictability in the cage, there’s nothing like an MMA card in the state of Florida. Let’s get set for Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie.

Nearly one year ago, as the world had just begun to enter the vaccination era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC got in the lab and figured out a way to put on a live, indoor event with a full crowd of fans faster than the rest of the sporting world. Over 15,000 patrons ultimately descended on the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida to watch a UFC 261 card that culminated with Kamaru Usman more or less beheading Jorge Masvidal to defend the welterweight (170-pound) championship.

On Saturday, the world’s biggest MMA promotion returns to Freakville for just the fourth UFC pay-per-view event ever held in the Sunshine State. On this night, everyone is a Florida Man.

Time to get ready for a big night highlighted by two title fights: Alexander Volkanovski vs. “The Korean Zombie” Chan-sung Jung and Aljamian Sterling vs. Petr Yan.

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Here’s what needs to be on your radar for Saturday night’s UFC 273 belligerence in Duuuuuval:

  • Volkanovski (champion, -800 at FanDuel Sportsbook) vs. TKZ (+520) for the UFC men’s featherweight title and what’s likely to be a collision course with division icon Max Holloway
  • Sterling (champion, +350) vs. Yan (interim champ, -480) to unify the UFC men’s bantamweight (135-pound) title
  • Khamzat Chimaev (-500) vs. Gilbert Burns (+360) in a fascinating welterweight scrap with serious championship implications
  • Jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern (-115) vs. Tecia Torres (-105) in an intriguing title eliminator at strawweight (115 pounds)
  • For the first time ever, the UFC and Crypto.com will offer $60,000 in Bitcoin to three fighters as part of its new “Fan Bonus of the Night” promotion. The winner of a fan vote will receive $30,000, with $20,000 going to second place and $10,000 to third.

There’s a little bit of everything on tap Saturday night, and while two different title belts aren’t always up for grabs on a typical UFC PPV, it truly feels like “The People’s Main Event” is terrifying, bulldozing prospect Chimaev’s tilt with former title challenger Burns.

Undefeated as a professional mixed martial artist, Chimaev is 4-0 in the UFC and his opponents rarely make it out of the first round — he’s got two wins by knockout and two by submission, including an arresting tapout finish against Li Jingliang last October that was dripping with showmanship.

But that shouldn’t take anything away from the intelligent, well-rounded Volkanovski vs. the often unpredictable Zombie, the latter of whom once had a nine-year streak of never taking part in a fight that went the distance and reached the judges’ scorecards between 2010 and 2019.

FanDuel method of victory prop bets for Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie at UFC 273 (as of April 7)

Every UFC PPV to Take Place in Florida

UFC 261
  • Date: April 24, 2021
  • Venue: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Main event: Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal to defend welterweight title
  • Gate revenue: $3,300,000
  • PPV buys: 700,000
UFC 249
  • Date: May 9, 2020
  • Venue: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Main event: Justin Gaethje def. Tony Ferguson for interim lightweight title
  • Gate revenue: None (event took place behind closed doors due to COVID-19)
  • PPV buys: 700,000
UFC 42
  • Date: April 25, 2003
  • Venue: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
  • Main event: Matt Hughes def. Sean Sherk to defend welterweight title
  • Gate revenue: Not publicized
  • PPV buys: 35,000

UFC 273 Fight Card

Main Card (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ pay-per-view)

Men’s featherweight championship: Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Chan-sung Jung, a.k.a. “The Korean Zombie”
Men’s bantamweight unification
: Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. Petr Yan (ic)
Welterweight: Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Strawweight (115 pounds): Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres

Prelim Card (8 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+)

Welterweight: Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks
Heavyweight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Marcin Tybura
Women’s bantamweight: Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington
Welterweight: Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott

Early Prelim Card (6 p.m. ET; ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass)

Lightweight (155 pounds): Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen
Heavyweight: Aleksei Oleynik vs. Jared Vanderaa
Middleweight: Anthony Hernandez vs. Josh Fremd
Strawweight: Todd Duffee vs. Jarjis Danho
Men’s bantamweight: Julio Arce vs. Daniel Santos

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