On the eve of his UFC 273 title defence, Alexander Volkanovski predicts how, and when, he will finish Korean Zombie.
Alexander Volkanovski has promised to finish The Korean Zombie within three rounds at UFC 273, conceding he will be “disappointed” if Sunday’s headliner goes any longer.
Despite being linked recently to potential super fights against the likes of Conor McGregor, Max Holloway and Henry Cejudo, Volkanovski’s most immediate task is a third title defence against gutsy South Korean striker Chan Sun Jung.
Earlier this week, UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya predicted a KO win for the Australian who is yet to taste defeat inside the Octagon – and Volkanovski himself agrees.
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Importantly, the Wollongong native has also received strong praise from Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman, who says he has never seen the UFC featherweight champ look better in camp, including for his most recent wins over Holloway and Brian Ortega.
“So I want to finish Zombie,” Volkanovski said. “And I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t happen within three rounds.
“Which isn’t me trying to hype up the fight. Just as I’m not saying it to prove people wrong.
“I want to finish Zombie because I know I can.
“It’s what I now expect of myself.”
Importantly, Volkanovski has also spent the final weeks of his camp working closely with members of Adesanya’s City Kickboxing team, including head coach Bareman.
Over the past two years, the ongoing Covid pandemic has prevented the Aussie from travelling to New Zealand and working with an Auckland mob that boasts the likes of Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Kai Kara-France.
However only recently, Bareman brought a crew of fighters including Carlos Ulberg and Blood Diamond into camp at the converted Windang church which doubles as Volkanovski’s Freestyle Fighting Gym.
Others who have been spotted working out of the church during Volkanovski’s latest title preparation include Tai Tuivasa, Tyson Pedro, Jamie Mullarkey, Josh Culibao and Bellator title contender Arlene Blencowe.
Volkanovski said the opportunity to work face-to-face with Bareman – who boasts a strong friendship with his own head coach Joe Lopez — had him primed for a finish this Sunday.
“Having that second set of eyes in camp has been great,” Volkanovski said.
“And I get a real confidence from our interactions.
“Everyone looks at things differently so it’s always great to pick Eugene’s brain, because these are in-depth conversations not many people can have.
“(With the City Kickboxing team coming to Australia) it’s also meant I’ve been able to move around with guys I haven’t seen in two years. That’s been really good for me.”
So as for what Bareman sees in the champ?
“He reckons it’s the best he has ever seen me,” Volkanovski added. “Said if my camp is any indication then we’re going to have a really good night.”
Originally published as UFC 273: Israel Adesanya’s coach makes bold Alexander Volkanovski prediction