Volkan Oezdemir said a title fight against light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is in the works and could happen at UFC 220 in early 2018.
Volkan Oezdemir said it’s just a matter of time before he fights Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight title.
Oezdemir, one of the best 205-pound fighters on the promotion’s roster, was in attendance at UFC 217 on Saturday as a guest fighter and told media backstage that the Cormier fight is in the works. He added that it could take place at UFC 220 in Boston on Jan. 20, 2018 — that’s what Oezdemir wants, too.
“Nothing is confirmed right now, but everything is in talks,” Oezdemir said at Madison Square Garden in New York City (via MMAFighting.com). “I’m just waiting for a contract to sign, and I’m on. I’m ready to go. … It’s gonna happen.
“It’s a big city,” he said of Boston. “I like it. I’ve never been there.”
Oezdemir has taken the MMA world by storm in 2017, picking up three straight Octagon victories, including a debut win over Ovince Saint Preux. The Swiss fighter, who also holds UFC stoppages over Jimi Manuwa and Misha Cirkunov, went from an unknown commodity to top contender in five months.
Before losing to Jon Jones at UFC 214 in July, Cormier wasn’t too open in a possible future fight against Oezdemir. But he has fully accepted Oezdemir as his next challenger.
“I’m really appreciative of what [Cormier] is offering me, because he’s giving me a big chance right now. He’s giving me a chance to fight for the title, and that’s amazing, because it’ll be my fourth fight in the UFC. It’s gonna be less than a year, and I will be fighting for the belt already, and that’s crazy. I’m really humbled with everything that is happening to me.”
Cormier was reinstated as light heavyweight titleholder when Jones tested positive for a steroid in a USADA-administered drug test. Jones is facing a multi-year suspension, but has not yet been officially sanctioned.
Because Jones was stripped of the title he regained with a third-round knockout over bitter rival “DC,” Oezdemir said Cormier deserves to be at the top and is, again, the real champion.
“I have no doubt about that,” Oezdemir said. “He’s beat everyone in heavyweight and light heavyweight. He’s the champ now. What happened with Jon Jones is a little bit controversial, with the positive test. Now everything’s different. Cormier is one of the toughest guys in the 205-pound division, and he’s one of the best pound-for-pound, also.”