The next title challenger for current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will be determined at UFC Fight Island 6 on Saturday night.
The main event is all set to go between former title challengers, with No. 2 ranked contender Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega taking on No. 4 ranked contender Chan Sung Jung – better known as the ‘ Korean Zombie’ – in a fight that’s been a long time coming. Ortega and Jung were originally matched up against one another at the end of last year, but the former pulled out of the fight due to a knee injury.
Instead of being pulled from the card entirely, Jung went on to fight a short-notice opponent in Frankie Edgar at UFC on ESPN+ 23. He made quick work of the former champion, knocking him out in the first round. Jung still wanted the fight with Ortega to happen, however. And although it took some time, the bout was rescheduled for UFC Fight Island 6, and now has far greater implications than previously thought.
Speaking with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, UFC President Dana White revealed that the winner of the fight between Ortega and Jung will be the No. 1 contender for the aforementioned Volkanovski.
“It’s absolutely the No. 1 contender fight,” said White. “First of all, this is the fight that should have happened a while ago. We’re finally here. With all the crazy stuff that’s happened — and crazy things have always happened in this business — for us to finally be here with The Zombie versus Ortega. Absolutely the winner of this fight should get the next title shot.”
Ortega has not been seen since UFC 231, where he fought then-champion Max Holloway for the title. He was stopped just before the fifth round was set to begin, as the cageside doctor came concluded that he was unfit to continue after being battered to the point where his eyes and nose were severely damage. Ortega was then sidelined recuperating from those injuries, but is now set to make his return.
Jung has been a bit more active, getting two first-round stoppages over Renato Moicano and Edgar. Like his opponent, this is also his first time competing in 2020.
As for Volkavoski, he last competed at UFC 251 against Holloway, who he defeated by way of split decision in what would be his first successful title defense since dethroning the same man at UFC 245 a few months prior. Volkanovski has already shown interest in this fight and even put out a tweet that seems to suggest he expects to face the winner of Ortega and Jung in the near future.
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