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Champions Retain Their Belts at UFC 273 and New Contenders Emerge



Fans are the real winners for an exciting night of fights at UFC 273 in Jacksonville.

April 9th, 2022

UFC’s return to Jacksonville marks its 5th trip in just over two years and with another stellar card under wraps, Dana White is happily awaiting the call to return once again.


Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Chan Sung Jung —featherweight title bout

Volkanovski is making his 3rd defense of his featherweight title belt.

From the start of the fight, it’s clear Chan Sung Jung also known as The Korean Zombie is a step behind the current Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. In the first round it seemed the champion was always right out of TKZ’s range and was landing clean, hard shots to counter everything Chan Sung Jung threw. The first round ended with Volkanovski knocking TKZ down with a punch. 

The second round started off much more interesting as the Zombie started lunging forward with multiple punch combinations, completely disregarding the power of Volkanovski. After surviving the newfound confidence and combinations of TKZ, Volkanovski found his rhythm once again and knocked the zombie down once more. This time it wasn’t as simple though and TKZ shot back to his feet and pressed forward, landing several punches on the champion only to then be taken down and controlled along the cage. 

The third round was more of the same, except TKZ was showing significant damage and was quickly losing his confidence as Alexander Volkanovski was always a step ahead. Volkanovski was defending and slipping strikes perfectly and always answering with his own, eventually ending the round by knocking down the zombie and finishing the round standing over him, landing vicious ground and pound. 

Between the third and fourth round a doctor was called into the Octagon to assess Chan Sung Jung to determine if he was still able to fight. Chan Sung Jung being the seasoned veteran he is, refused to quit and was composed enough for the Doctor to let him continue in the fight. In hindsight it was nothing more than pride allowing TKZ to start the fourth round. In the first exchange of the fourth round Volkanovski once again stunned Sung Jung, which led to the fight being stopped only 45 seconds into the round. 

Alexander Volkanovski defeated Chan Sung Jung by TKO at 0:45 in round 4

At the presser, Volkanovski stated he’s not against moving up a weight class and has experience in doing so. If he continues to fight in his weight class, it has to be earned. They need to be #1 contender.

Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. Petr Yan (ic) —bantamweight title bout

Sterling looks to retain his bantamweight belt, which he won by disqualification after an intentional illegal knee he took in the 4th round vs Peter Yan. With his inability to continue, it marked the first time a fighter won a belt after his opponent was disqualified. As time has passed since that fight, Sterling has essentially turned fans against him, as he’s laid claim to being the champ, although many look at him as nothing more than paper champ. During the lead up to the fight, fans at the press conference made it known that they favor the former champ.

Following the absolutely electric fight between Gilbert Burns and Khamzat Chimaev the fans in the building were at the edge of their seats in anticipation of what they expected to be a blowout performance from Petr Yan against a seemingly in-over-his-head Aljamain Sterling. But in MMA you can never be so sure about the outcome of a fight that hasn’t yet happened. Early in the first round, the challenger, former champion, and then interim bantamweight champion pressed forward toward Sterling. Sterling in kind of a contradiction to their first fight, stayed as composed as a champion, relying on leg kicks and footwork to avoid the uncharacteristic early onslaught from Yan. Petr, not fighting with the same composure as usual, was seemingly swinging with all he had trying to knock his opponent out. In doing so he was throwing himself off-balance while missing Aljamain with nearly every shot. While nearly throwing himself to the ground, Petr still managed to stop multiple takedown attempts from the Champion Aljamain Sterling. 

The second round started off just as the first had ended, with Petr pressuring and throwing hard early, however this time Aljamain was able to take Petr down to the mat and quickly take his back. While on Yan’s back Aljo was able to deny any sweeps or transitions Petr attempted and effectively controlled him for the remainder of the round with both throwing heavy strikes and attempting submissions. 

Petr came out in the third round with vengeance on his mind, completely disregarding the obvious advantage Aljo has on the ground. Yan was throwing punches and kicks hard, hoping to hurt his opponent. He successfully stuffed takedown attempts from Aljo and controlled him against the cage, but it wasn’t long until Aljo once again secured another takedown and quickly took Yan’s back. While not as active as in the second round, Aljamain effectively controlled his opponent on the ground while squeezing him with a tight body triangle, trying to wear him out for the remainder of the round. 

Early in the fourth round it seems the tides had officially changed and Petr hurt Aljo early. Aljo was desperate for a takedown, but was unsuccessful as it seemed Yan had finally hit his stride. Petr controlled a majority of the round striking at distance, seeming to hurt Aljo every time he landed. For a second it seemed Aljo was going to take Petr’s back again to regain control of the round, but his attempt was unsuccessful and Petr ended up on top of his opponent, controlling him in full guard. 

In the fifth round Aljamain seemed to be gassed and Petr controlled the octagon. Aljo tried to pull Petr to the ground but was scraped off along the fence and Petr ended up taking Aljo’s back to end the fight. 

Aljamain Sterling (c) defeats Petr Yan via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-48) 

At the presser, Aljo made it known “you don’t have to like me, but you gotta respect me.” “There’s a lot more ass out there to whoop.”

Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Is the hype for real? That’s the real question as Chimaev looks to continue his ascent in the welterweight division vs a very game opponent in Burns. Dana White has claimed should he get past Burns, then a likely bout vs perennial contender Colby Covington would be next. As Burns and Chimaev have made it known, no disrespect to Volkanovski and the Korean Zombie, they’re the real main event. 

In arguably the most anticipated fight on the card, top contender Gilbert Burns and rising superstar Khamzat Chimaev did not disappoint in an all-out-war worthy of Fight of the Year contention. Many thought in the lead up to the fight that the nearly untouchable Khamzat Chimaev would continue to look as such, but Gilbert had promised otherwise and fulfilled his promise. From the start of round one both fighters rushed to the center with high intensity, however Khamzat quickly took over control of the octagon and shot for his first takedown. He worked much harder for this takedown than we have seen from him until this point in the UFC, but he eventually secured the takedown. Gilbert quickly rose to his feet, but was taken down again. Khamzat seemed cautious to engage Burns on the ground and stood up, landing kicks to Burns legs as he laid on the mat. The ref gave Burns room to stand up and it was clear in the first real exchange of the fight that Burns was not going to be toyed with the way that Khamzat had in all his other opponents since signing with the UFC. Both fighters swung and landed hard through the remainder of the round, which ended shortly after Gilbert was stunned by a punch. 

In the second round Burns shot for a takedown of his own, but only in vain as Chimaev was almost completely unfazed by the attempt. Both fighters went wild, throwing absolute bombs toward each other even though they already were gassed from the extreme pace of the fight thus far. By the end of the round both fighters had been hurt and were visibly exhausted. 

At the start of the third round Gilbert immediately started throwing with full intent on knocking Chimaev out, only to be hurt by a straight right after Chimaev was told by his coach to fight smarter between rounds. Khamzat claimed control in the beginning portion of the round striking at distance instead of being lured into a firefight. Toward the end of the round, Gilbert landed a heavy right hook followed by a few more, but Chimaev while rocked, smiled and waved his hands as if to invite more punches from his opponent. The fight ended with both fighters exhausted, but doing what they could for a finish. Khamzat Chimaev edged out a razor close unanimous decision victory over the # 2 ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns. 

Khamzat Chimaev def. Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

At the presser Chimaev claimed he pushed himself too much to get the knockout and seemingly take his head off. He didn’t care whether he won or not, he just loves fighting.

Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres

The former Jiu-Jitsu champion Dern takes on Torres in a strawweight bout that could have championship implications…at least for Torres as Dern believes even with a win that she’s not ready.Dern has been working heavily with a boxing coach.

In the first round Mackenzie Dern throwing wild punches to try to find openings for takedowns but none were found early in the round due to Tecia’s crisp striking and footwork. Despite Dern’s best efforts to drag Torres to the ground where she can dictate the fights pace, Torres maintained control both in clinch and striking situations. 

To start the second round Dern rushed forward striking to find opening for a takedown. Tecia proved to be the physically stronger of the two fighters, successfully muscling her way out of takedown attempts and gaining control on the cage. Dern being as confident as she is on the ground, decided to pull guard with her back on the cage to get the fight to the ground. Tecia refused to let Dern get to the ground and held the weight the both of them until Dern threatened a kimura submission, causing them to come tumbling to the ground. Despite Dern’s best efforts to submit Torres, Torres was able to escape multiple submission attempts that were chained together by Dern who was using her high level bjj skills to try to finish the fight early. 

In the third round Mackenzie was finally able to take Tecia down convincingly only to be kicked off the moment Tecia had enough space to get her legs between the two of them. As the fight came to a close Dern was dropped by the slick boxing of Torres and was showing signs of extreme fatigue. Dern ended up getting the nod in a razor close split decision victory over Tecia Torres. 

Dern claimed she wasn’t planning to take too much time away before getting back to the gym, maybe a week and she’d be ready to go should the UFC call. Realistically she imagines it’ll be 6 months though.

Mackenzie Dern defeats Tecia Torres via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen

Madsen, a silver medalist Greco Roman wrestler brings his undefeated record vs veteran lightweight fighter Pichel. Pichel is currently riding a three fight win streak and carries 14-2 overall record.

In a fight that looked like something you might have seen on a black and white motion picture from the 1930’s, two lightweights on multiple fight win streaks went to war and showed that age is nothing but a number. With a slow start to round one both fighters took some time to find their range. Once the fighters found their range they started to exchange heavy leg kicks that may have rendered lesser opponents immobile. Mark Madson in his classic Greco Roman wrestling based approach secured a clinch then takedown but Vinc, who often exceeds expectations quickly got back to his feet and the fight ended with both fighters landing heavy in close exchanges. 

In the second round Mark pushed forward early but Vinc quickly took over striking exchanges showing off his high level boxing. Mark secured another takedown only for Vinc to fight his way back to his feet by threatening with a heel hook then a calf slicer submission. After standing up, Vinc started to put together combinations which hid a takedown attempt of his own in which he was successful, ending Mark’s 100% takedown defense statistic. 

In the third round both fighters looked fatigued but Mark was able to secure a takedown early and successfully controlled Vinc Pichel on the ground for the remainder of the fight. Mark Madsen defeated Vinc Pinchel by unanimous decision. 

During presser Madsen claimed he’s fighting for the American dream after recently moving his family from Denmark and how he sees himself as a champion. He welcomed the idea of facing Islam Makhachev and challenging himself vs his Sambo Combat wrestling since he’s never competed against it before.

Mark O. Madsen defeats Vinc Pichel via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)


Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks

Another heavily hyped fighter, Ian “The Future” Garry out of Ireland brings his brash personality in a fight vs Darian Weeks, who suffered his 1st loss vs veteran Bryan Barbarena. Recently Garry has switched camps to Sanford MMA to get coached by Henri Hooft and Greg Jones.

In the first round Garry seemed to have learned from the mistakes he made in his UFC debut and started this fight with much more patience. Garry, a very tall welterweight at 6’3” is mostly known for his distance striking, which Weeks was obviously prepared for so he clinched Garry against the fence whenever possible. Despite Weeks being the stronger of the two fighters, Ian consistently used footwork and strikes to separate himself from the clinch and then used his kicks from the outside to control range. However, Weeks caught and dropped Garry with a front kick and ended the round clinching Garry against the fence. 

In the second round Weeks continued to disregard the power of Garry and pressed forward. Garry had a clear advantage in speed and was utilizing his reach, but Weeks was still able to sneak some heavy shots in when Garry got close. Weeks scored a momentary takedown, but Ian quickly got up and finished the round in style, landing a flying knee. 

In the third round Garry seemed to be the much fresher fighter and landed heavy kicks to the head of his opponent and finished the fight by rocking Weeks with a straight right hand.

Garry making a point to get the crowd behind him in a chant after the fight. 

At the presser Ian stated he knows he has a long way to go before calling people out, however he’d dream of fighting Wonderboy one day since stylistically it’d be so much fun a striker vs striker.

Ian Garry defeats Darian Weeks via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27

Anthony Hernandez vs. Josh Fremd

Anthony Hernandez, a now seasoned UFC veteran, welcomed UFC newcomer Josh Fremd to the octagon in a high pace middleweight bout. Fremd accepted the fight on only 9 days notice after Hernandez’s original opponent was unable to make it to fight day. Hernandez started the first round with relentless pressure, backing the 6’4” giant middleweight back to the cage to prevent him from getting off any strikes and being able to use his height and reach advantage. Anthony got a takedown and immediately started working for submissions but gave Fremd enough room to fight his way back to his feet. This didn’t discourage Hernandez though, who continued the same high to pressure his opponent for the remainder of the round. 

In the second round, Anthony Hernandez once again started throwing with bad intentions early, landing a spinning heel kick to Fremd’s head right before shooting in and securing a takedown. Despite being out of his element on the ground Josh Fremd kept his composure and defended ground and pound and submission attempts throughout the round will still being able to pull off sweeps and reversing position when Hernandez tried to advance. Momentarily, Fremd was able to get back to his feet and land clean punches to Hernandez, effectively stunning him, but it still wasn’t enough to stop his pressure as Hernandez secured another takedown and finished the fight on top of Fremd. 

In the third round Josh Fremd was visibly exhausted but refused to give up. Hernandez secured another takedown and seemed to achieve a flow state on the ground, chaining submissions together and keeping enough top pressure to keep Fremd from getting up. Hernandez dominated the rest of the round, with the fight ending while Hernandez tried his best but was unable to submit Fremd with a reverse triangle choke.

Anthony Hernandez defeats Josh Fremd via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

At the press conference Anthony talked about just being ready to fight should the UFC call, but right just looking to enjoy time with his kids. He had a blast in the fight, but as much fun as he had, he’d absolutely rather it be an easy one.

Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington

The ultimate tough girl Raquel Pennington cut 18 pounds in 12 days to take on Aspen Ladd. This is a big step up in competition for Ladd as Pennington has faced seemingly everybody in the division.

How do you not love watching “Rocky” fight? She’s now on a 4-fight winning streak. Making it known that everybody is beatable.

Seasoned veteran Raquel Pennington faced Aspen Ladd on short notice and brought nothing less than her best. Raquel pressed forward early in the fight but it was Aspen who had the most success in the first few exchanges. Aspen was countering well from the start and seemed to have her range down, but that only seemed to make Rocky mad, causing her to start putting together some serious boxing combinations and finally finding some success landing hard with multiple punches at the end of the round.

Both fighters rushed to the center and started exchanging as the second round started. Rocky began mixing takedown attempts in with her strikes to really keep Ladd from being too comfortable in striking exchanges. Aspen lead most of the exchanges but at that point in the fight Raquel had finally figured out her range and was countering well.

Starting the third round, Aspen was visibly fatigued and started slowing down. Rocky mixed up body and face punches well and seemed to be the more accurate and conditioned fighter. Aspen Ladd perfectly timed a takedown and momentarily took Pennington down before controlling her along the fence at the end of the fight.

Raquel Pennington defeats Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

At the press Rocky made it known she’s eager to fight her way back up the rankings

Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott

Mickey Gall, a ufc welterweight best known for welcoming CM punk into the ufc and professional mma, faced Dana White’s contender series alumni Mike Malott who was making his UFC debut. Malott started the round pressuring Gall and landing several heavy strikes, which didn’t seem to be affecting Mickey’s composure. Gall was moving well and avoiding the brunt of the damage, but in striking exchanges he was keeping his chin too high, which eventually cost him the fight losing by TKO due to strikes in the very first round. This was the first time Gall had been knocked out.

Mike Malott defeats Mickey Gall via TKO (strikes) at 3:41 of the first round 

Malott was very humble in his presser and choked up talking about his sister who was hospitalized and had to learn how to walk, etc. Fans even donated money to him on his way out.


Aleksei Oleinik vs. Jared Vanderaa 

The old man of the card, the 44 year old heavyweight Aleksei Olenik looks to rebound from a 3-fight losing streak while his much younger opponent, Jared Vanderaa looks to rebound from  a 2-fight losing streak himself.

Aleksei Oleinik went into his 77th professional fight against Jared Vanderaa. Early in the fight Aleksei pressed forward throwing big looping hooks at Vanderaa, hoping to see an opening to secure a takedown. After not finding any openings, Aleksei did as many high level submission artists do and pulled guard in order to get the fight to the ground. After some scrambling, Aleksei ended up taking Vanderaa’s back and quickly adjusted himself to secure a scarf hold submission, finishing the fight. 

Aleksei Oleinik defeats Jared Vanderaa via submission (neck crank) at 3:39 of the first round

At the press conference Aleksei talked about often being deemed the underdog, but not letting it change his approach to the fight.

Piera Rodriguez vs. Kay Hansen

Piera Rodriguez, recently signed fighter after a win on Dana White’s contender series, fought Kay Hansen, young standout. At the beginning of the first round it was clear Piera had the better striking of the two fighters. Kay realized her disadvantage on the feet and took her opponent down, effectively controlling Piera on the ground for the rest of the round.

 Kay, confident now after controlling the first round, shoots for a takedown early in round 2 but was unsuccessful and was eventually taken down by Piera and had her back taken. Piera worked for the remainder of the round for a rear naked choke but was unsuccessful. 

In the third round Piera scored an early takedown but stood up and allowed Kay to return to her feet after realizing position was about to be reversed. Piera again showed dominance in striking landing crisp combinations causing Kay to rush for a takedown only to get reversed on the cage and be taken down herself.

Piera Rodriguez defeats Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Julio Arce d. Daniel Santos

In the first fight of the card, it was a bantamweight bout between Julio Arce and Daniel santos. Throughout the fight, Daniel Santos, who trains with UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira put on an incredible pace. In the first round Santos was throwing heavy, but wasn’t able to keep up with the footwork and movement of Julio arce. Santos was mixing punches, kicks and elbows well but was unable to land most of his strikes, but Julio capitalized, successfully countering well throughout the round, ending the round landing a heavy head kick on Santos.

In the second round it was more of the same with Arce avoiding a large portion of Santos’ strikes with his superior movement and understanding of distance management. Julio threatened takedowns to try to slow his opponent down to no avail. Arce started to utilize body shots which helped him pick his opponent apart throughout the round.

In the third round the fight stayed basically the same with Santos refusing to slow down but Arce always a step ahead, steering clear of heavy strikes and countering effectively. Despite being outclassed, it is clear that Daniel Santos is a newcomer to watch and that Julio may be deserving of a step up in competition.

Julio Arce defeats Daniel Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

At the press conference Julio talked about not being in a position to call out a ranked opponent since he was just coming off a loss, however he’s happy to take on a ranked opponent should he get offered. He believes it’s his time right now, afterall he lost to a prospect (Song Yadong) who shot up through the rankings and is now #10 in bantamweight following a victory over Marlon Moraes.

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (L-R) Aspen Ladd and Raquel Pennington trade punches in their bantamweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Mike Malott of Canada knocks out Mickey Gall in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

  • Mike Malott chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (R-L) Mark Madsen of Denmark battles Vinc Pichel in their lightweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

  • Mark Madsen chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (R-L) Mackenzie Dern works for a submission against Tecia Torres in their strawweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

  • Mackenzie Dern chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • Khamzat Chimaev chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • Julio Arce chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (L-R) Ian Garry of Ireland kicks Darian Weeks in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

  • Ian Garry chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (L-R) Gilbert Burns of Brazil punches Khamzat Chimaev of Russia in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (R-L) Gilbert Burns of Brazil and Khamzat Chimaev of Russia trade punches in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

  • Dana White chats at UFC 273 presser. © South Florida Insider.JPG

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (R-L) Anthony Hernandez kicks Josh Fremd in their middleweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

  • Anthony Hernandez chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Aljamain Sterling battles Petr Yan of Russia in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

  • Aljamain Sterling chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • Aljamain Sterling chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: (R-L) Alexander Volkanovski of Australia punches 'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung of South Korea in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

  • Alexander Volkanovski chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • Aleksei Olenik chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider.JPG.JPG

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Aleksei Oleinik of Russia submits Jared Vanderaa during the Heavyweight bout at UFC 273 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

  • T.J. Dillashaw chats at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • Raquel Pennington chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider

  • Piera Rodriguez chats after win at UFC 273. © South Florida Insider.JPG

  • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Mike Malott of Canada drops Mickey Gall with a left hook in their welterweight fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


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