UFC 273: Five reasons to get excited about this weekend's card

UFC 273 is just over 24 hours away and as has been the case throughout 2022 thus far, the promotion has a stacked card for fans to enjoy.

The showpiece event is set to go down in Jacksonville, Florida with a parade of top fighters taking part in the festivities from the first fight of the night all the way through to the main event.

In many ways, you could argue the Ultimate Fighting Championship has never been stronger and the quality displayed here further helps to boost those claims.

Today, we’re going to run through five of the many reasons why UFC 273 isn’t to be missed on Saturday night.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 05: In this UFC handout, (L-R) Opponents Petr Yan of Russia and Aljamain Sterling face off during the UFC 259 weigh-in at UFC APEX on March 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The talk is over

After 13 months of waiting, fans across the globe will finally get the chance to see Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan settle their differences.

An illegal knee thrown by Yan ruined what looked set to be the biggest win of his career and more than a year on from that controversial night, ‘Funk Master’ needs to back up what he’s been saying and prove he’s the true bantamweight king, or else ‘No Mercy’ is going to punish him in more ways than one.

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 25: Jairzinho Rozenstruik prior to his Heavyweight fight against Curtis Blaydes during UFC 266 at T-Mobile Arena on September 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

Is Rozenstruik elite?

It’s a simple question but one that has a string of potential answers – is Jairzinho Rozenstruik as good as we all made him out to be?

In terms of his striking it’s near enough impossible to deny that ‘Bigi Boy’ is an elite heavyweight. At the same time, his win-loss-win-loss pattern has held him back for almost two years. This weekend, Marcin Tybura will be on hand to try and create the first losing streak of Jairzinho’s fascinating MMA career.

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 25: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia taunts Brian Ortega in between rounds during their Featherweight title fight during UFC 266 at T-Mobile Arena on September 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

Legacy vs cult hero

Alexander Volkanovski is unbeaten in the UFC, has two wins over Max Holloway and showed insane heart to retain the featherweight strap against Brian Ortega.

It makes sense, then, that fans continue to look towards the next new challenger – especially in this instance, given that it’s The Korean Zombie. The 35-year-old has waited years for another crack at the gold and even though he’s an extreme underdog in the eyes of the bookies, stranger things have happened in world title fights.

Nov 6, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Ian Garry (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Jordan Williams (blue gloves) during UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Takeover 2.0

Ian Garry rubbed some folks the wrong way after indicating that he wants to stage a second Irish takeover in the UFC, in a similar fashion to Conor McGregor.

But when you remove all of the noise and confusion we’re simply left with a really fun welterweight prospect. A knockout win in his UFC debut was impressive, and yet a lot of critics won’t start to believe he’s the real deal until he beats some established talent. With that being said, step right up Mr Darian Weeks.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: In this handout image provided by UFC, Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The rise of Chimaev

Khamzat Chimaev could be the UFC’s next breakout star and if anything, we’re underselling him.

He’s only 4-0 since making his way over to the big time and yet those four victories have already whipped the masses up into an unbelievable frenzy. His combined striking and grappling game makes him a nightmare for anyone to face but in the mind of Gilbert Burns, this is just another monster he has to try and slay.

Can he do it? We’ll find out tomorrow night.

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