On January 20. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier will defend his title against Switzerland’s Volkan ‘No Time’ Oezdemir at UFC 220 in Boston’s TD Garden.
Earlier this month (Nov. 18) concerns about the possibility of this fight happening arose when Oezdemir was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on charges of aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability. Although this is an ongoing issue it has obviously not stopped the promotion’s decision to book this fight. In a statement from Oezdemir’s manager Frederic Englund to MMAJunkie.com it is claimed that “… Oezdemir, who was not the aggressor, was totally justified in all of his actions pursuant to Florida law.” Full article here.
The current champion, Daniel Cormier, is coming off a title bout which was meant to settle a feud with long time rival, Jon Jones. However, the match, which originally ended in a KO victory for Jones via a brutal head kick and punches in the third round, was overturned when he tested positive for the steroid Turinabol.
Now reinstated as champion, Cormier looks to put his roller-coaster rivalry with Jones behind him for now as he defends the UFC’s Light Heavyweight Championship for a third time. Excluding the fiasco at UFC 214, Cormier has won his last four battles inside the cage. Three of those four victories being Championship bouts (Defeating Alexander Gustafsson and submitting Anthony Johnson twice) the other, his non-title versus Anderson Silva at UFC 200.
The UFC’s No.2 ranked light heavyweight fighter, Volkan Oezdemir has had an extremely fast rise in the promotion reaching title contention after just three fights under the banner. Volkan has definitely seized every opportunity given to him thus far debuting on short notice back in February against former interim Light Heavyweight Title contender Ovince Saint Preux, a match he won via split decision. Living up to his nickname, “No Time” took his following two contests out of the judges’ hands and into his own knocking out Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in 28 and 42 seconds respectively on his way to becoming, in my opinion, a top contender for the UFC’s 2017 Fighter of the Year.
Will Cormier remind everyone why he is considered one of the greatest light heavyweights of all time or will Oezdemir continue his streak of lightning fast finishes? We will find out Jan. 20, 2018.