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Your UFC 273 Card Preview

Your UFC 273 Card Preview

Andrew Sumian

The UFC returns to action on April 9 with the highly anticipated UFC 273, taking place in Jacksonville, Florida. Unlike its predecessor, which relied on the star power of Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal for promotion, UFC 273 features a stacked card loaded with talent from top to bottom.

One of the most interesting names on the preliminary portion of the card is South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis, who is facing submission ace Anthony Hernandez. Du Plessis is one of the most noteworthy additions to the UFC middleweight division and is currently on a four-fight win streak. A win over Hernandez should garner Plessis a following and establish himself as a future potential contender.

Du Plessis’ rookie card was featured in the 2022 UFC Prizm product released in late March. Grabbing a few of his parallels on the cheap could prove to be a valuable investment if he successfully climbs the middleweight ladder.

The co-main event features a rematch between current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and interim champion Petr Yan. Yan previously lost the title to Sterling after landing an illegal knee on a downed opponent. Since then, Yan has defeated Cory Sandhagen to claim the interim bantamweight belt while Sterling recovered from injuries. 

If this bout plays out anything like the first one, Yan will convincingly defeat Sterling and reclaim his undisputed bantamweight crown. Yan has proven himself to be the most skilled fighter in his class. If he rattles off a successful title run, his 2019 Topps Chrome rookie cards will continue to rise. A raw Sepia refractor of that card sold for less than $70 on March 23, so there’s still time to get in on Yan if you think he’s destined for the top.

The main event consists of featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski defending his title for the third time against Chan Sung Jung. Jung replaced former champion Max Holloway after the latter was injured the same month the fight was announced. Based on skill set, Volkanovski should handedly beat The Korean Zombie using his superior footwork, striking and pace.

Even though Volkanovski isn’t exactly a collector favorite, he’s proven that he’s the best featherweight in the world for now. Grabbing one of his autos won’t break the bank (we noticed a few recent eBay sales under $100) and will pay dividends if he continues to extend his winning streak and title reign.

Despite those two title fights technically headlining UFC 273, all the attention of the evening will belong to Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns. The pair will throw down on the main card just before the title fights. Chimaev is one of the most popular and animated prospects in all of combat sports.

His 2021 rookie cards from the Prizm and Select sets are already selling incredibly high despite only four fights under Chimaev’s UFC belt. For example, his PSA 10 Orange Prizm (#/99) rookie card sold for just under $7K in early March. Yeah, Chimaev’s cards are already expensive, but collectors seem to think his potential is unlimited going into the showdown with Burns. If Chimaev defeats him and earns a title shot against welterweight kingpin Kamaru Usman, there is a huge possibility that his rarer cards will explode.

Last but not least, Mackenzie Dern returns to the octagon after suffering a main event defeat from Marina Rodriguez last October. Dern is just 28 years old and only getting better with every performance. But that’s not to say she’s a guaranteed future champ. However, if UFC collectors have faith in her defeating Tecia Torres and becoming a strawweight queen, now is the time to score her 2018 Topps Museum rookie auto or 2019 Topps Chrome. Given Dern’s potential and popularity, they’re cheap, relatively safe investments for the long haul.

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