Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir title fight confirmed for UFC 220

As expected, Daniel Cormier will square off with surging contender Volkan Oezdemir in the first defense of Cormier’s second stint as UFC light heavyweight champion.

The matchup will take place at UFC 220, which takes place Jan. 20 at TD Garden in Boston. The event’s main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

FOX Sports PR rep John Stouffer confirmed the news announced on UFC Tonight, where Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) serves as a UFC analyst.

The booking comes two week after Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) was arrested and charged with aggravated battery stemming from an altercation with a man at Capone’s Nightclub in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The alleged victim, Kevin Cohen, claimed he was knocked out after hearing his friend had been knocked out by an unknown man, identified later by bar patrons as Oezdemir. Cohen said he was taken to the hospital and was treated for concussion symptoms and a laceration.

The UFC said it was looking into the matter and declined further comment.

Earlier this year, Cormier named Oezdemir his next opponent despite the pending case of Jon Jones, who was stripped of the belt after failing a drug test in connection with their rematch at UFC 214. Cormier lost the bout via third-round knockout but was later reinstated after Jones’ win was overturned and changed to a no-contest.

Oezdemir fought prior to Jones vs. Cormier 2 on the event’s pay-per-view main card and notched his third straight win with a knockout of Jimi Manuwa, who’d been earmarked for a title shot.

Cormier contemplated an end-of-the-year meeting with Oezdemir before electing to take time off to heal from his loss. He said the bout would likely happen in early 2018.

With the addition, the latest UFC 220 lineup includes:

  • Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan  Oezdemir – for light heavyweight title
  • Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau
  • Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
  • Shane Burgos vs. Calvin Kattar
  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Dana White: Volkan Oezdemir likely to still fight Daniel Cormier for UFC title despite legal trouble

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Volkan Oezdemir currently finds himself in hot water with Florida authorities, but it’s unlikely to affect his title-shot opportunity against UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

Oezdemir was arrested earlier this month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability as the result of  bar room altercation that took place Aug. 12. The charge carries a maximum 15-year sentence.

According to UFC President Dana White, the case against Oezdemir likely won’t have any bearing on Oezdemir’s immediate fighting future.

“He’s probably still going to fight, yeah,” White said Tuesday during a media luncheon at UFC headquarters in Las Vegas.

The title fight between Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been in the works for weeks, with a target date of Jan. 20 at UFC 220 in Boston. Cormier has said last week he “will go to the next guy” if Oezdemir’s legal woes scrap the plans, though White’s statement is a strong indicator that won’t be the case.

Oezdemir’s manager, Frederic Englund, has said his client was “not the aggressor.” Oezdemir’s alleged victim, Kevin Cohen, claims he was knocked out unconscious after being punched by Oezdemir outside a bar called Capone’s.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Champ Daniel Cormier to 'go to the next guy' if Volkan Oezdemir's legal woes scrap UFC title fight

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is no stranger to other fighters’ outside-the-cage troubles hindering his own fight schedule, and his current situation is no different.

Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) reportedly planned to put his 205-pound title on the line against Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at January’s UFC 220 event in Boston. However, the matchup could be in jeopardy after the challenger was recently arrested and charged for an alleged battery that took place in a Florida bar in August.

It’s still unknown exactly what type of ramifications Oezdemir could face for the alleged incident, but it seems likely that sharing the octagon with Cormier has dropped down on his list of priorities. If he’s unable to fight soon, the reigning champ said he’s ready for the next man up, whether it’s Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC), Ovince Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) or another challenger.

“Of course I’d fight any of these guys; it doesn’t matter,” Cormier told the “Anik and Florian Podcast.” “(Oezdemir is) on the longest win streak in the division, so he was getting the title shot, but if this trouble is going to keep him out of that opportunity, I’ll just go to the next guy.

“Of course I’d fight Gustafsson,” Cormier continued. “Someone told me yesterday that Team Ovince Saint Preux was like, ‘We want a title fight because we’ve got a good winning streak too.’ Whoever is winning gets the title shot, that’s just the way it is. I don’t care who it is.”

Oezdemir, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, was widely viewed as the most legitimate contender to No. 2-ranked Cormier due to his three-fight winning streak that includes first-round knockout wins over Misha Cirkunovm and Jimi Manuwa. Going down the list, though, the remaining options don’t have quite the same appeal.

No. 5-ranked Gustafsson is on a two-fight winning streak, but before that, he suffered a title loss to Cormier at UFC 192 in October 2015, albeit by narrow split decision. A rematch does carry some appeal, and likely more than a clash with No. 10-ranked Saint Preux, who’s currently booked to fight Ilir Latifi at UFC on FOX 27 in January.

Regardless of what happens, Cormier said he will be prepared to defend his title early next year.

“It’s tough to be going through this type of thing, especially at this time when you’re on the cusp of your biggest moment in your career,” Cormier said of Oezdemir’s situation. “I don’t know what happened. You’ve got to not be doing things that are wrong or put yourself in these situations where stuff can go sideways. You’ve got to try to stay out of those positions. Maybe it was self-defense, but because of who he is then it’s much worse because he has the ability to sleep dudes that are trying to hit him. You never know what’s happening, but even just these run-ins, they’re really unneeded, especially when you’re a young guy as Volkan is and you’re on the cusp of something so big for the first time in your career.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Volkan Oezdemir's alleged battery victim claims being knocked out unconscious

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Details have emerged in the battery case involving UFC light heavyweight title contender Volkan Oezdemir, including the name of the alleged victim.

Oezdemir was arrested Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability as the result of what Oezdemir’s manager called a “bar room altercation” that took place Aug. 12. The charge carries a maximum 15-year sentence.

According to the police report, the alleged victim, Kevin Cohen, claims he was knocked out unconscious after being punched by Oezdemir outside a bar called Capone’s.

Per MMAFighting.com, which cited the police report:

Kevin Cohen, the alleged victim, told police that he went outside after hearing a friend had been knocked unconscious following a verbal altercation with another man. Upon asking who knocked out his friend, Cohen told cops that he looked up and was hit in the face.

Cohen said he lost consciousness for about 14 minutes and was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for concussion symptoms and given multiple staples for lacerations. Cohen said people present outside Capone’s told him it was Oezdemir that hit him.

Fort Lauderdale police investigated the allegations that Oezdemir also struck Cohen’s friend, Sergio Sandoval, but could not reach Sandoval by phone or mail, per the incident report. Oezdemir is currently only being charged for the alleged attack on Cohen; the alleged battery of Sandoval has been designated as inactive.

Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), a 28-year-old Switzerland native, has been training in South Florida with Combat Club, a team formed in the wake of the general dissolution of the Blackzilians.

Earlier this month, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) told MMAjunkie that he and Oezdemir, who’s No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light-heavyweight rankings, were close to finalizing a title fight. At the time, Cormier said the title bout likely would happen in early 2018.

In a statement, UFC officials said they’re aware of Oezdemir’s arrest and looking into it.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Trading Shots: What should the UFC do about an uptick in fighters behaving badly?

From shoving referees to flinging boomerangs and homophobic epithets, UFC fighters haven’t exactly been on their best behavior lately. But when consequences are slow to appear, at what point do we need to examine the UFC’s approach to crime and punishment? MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes and retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes discuss.

* * * *

Fowlkes: It was an eventful week outside the cage, Danny.

Down in Sydney, Australia, Fabricio Werdum hit Colby Covington in the neck with a boomerang that was, somewhat hilariously, still in a plastic bag.

Covington responded with a Facebook video of himself using the English version of the same gay slur that got Werdum in trouble a couple months ago, and that’s in addition to his ongoing verbal attacks on Brazilians, which is what started this mess.

Then on Sunday morning I wake up to news that Volkan Oezdemir has been arrested for battery shortly after being pegged as the next UFC light heavyweight title challenger.

All this comes, of course, in the shadow of Conor McGregor’s latest transgression, which involved leaping into the Bellator cage, shoving a ref, and then issuing an “apology” that mostly blamed that ref.

You know what all these incidents have in common, Danny? The UFC doesn’t seem to know what to do about any of them, at least not yet.

Consequences and repercussions are proving to be a tricky business for the MMA leader, and you can kind of see why. On one hand, rivalries and trash-talk and angry people paid to hurt each other are good business. But is there a connection between the UFC’s reluctance to punish anybody and what feels like an uptick in bad behavior from fighters gone wild?

Downes: I don’t know if I’d make that connection. True, the UFC hasn’t punished any of the fighters you mentioned (unless you include McGregor getting pulled from a fight card that we never heard he’d been booked on), but I think you’re attributing a larger problem to a few specific fighters.

Let’s look at some of the people in question. Werdum hasn’t received any discipline for his transgressions yet, so of course he’ll think it’s alright to throw a boomerang at somebody else.

I agree that there’s a chance that if he had received some type of fine/suspension in the past, he would be more wary of getting into confrontations, but that’s not a guarantee. If you’ll unapologetically support a Chechen dictator accused of multiple human rights abuses, I doubt your affinity for a change of heart.

Then we have Covington. He’s out there trolling anyone and everything. Either he’s willfully ignorant of his racist pronouncements, or he’s purposefully using them in his gimmick. Either way, I don’t feel like giving him any more attention.

Last but not least we have McGregor. We discussed this a little last week, but McGregor knows he has the leverage. Despite the UFC having its “best year ever,” it can’t afford to keep McGregor on the sideline. You think the UFC wants to teach him a lesson in humility if it means passing up on all that sweet McGregor money?

I know you’d like to see the UFC do something to enforce the supposed code of conduct, but I for one do not want to endorse a more heavy-handed disciplinary process. From Nate Diaz to Jason High and many other fighters in between, we’ve seen UFC discipline used to send a message against fighters that don’t tow the company line or have upset the brass.

If we give the UFC more discretion to punish athletes, won’t it lead to even more disparity in how the rules are enforced? You think the Endeavor era is beyond petty grievances?

Fowlkes: Seems to me that what you’re complaining about there is the uneven application of punishments, not the mere existence of them. And that’s a valid complaint. All are not equal in the UFC’s internal justice system, and they never have been.

Then there’s the issue of what the UFC deems worthy of punishment. Remember when Donald Cerrone made an unapproved addition to his Reebok fight kit? The UFC didn’t hesitate to hit him with what he described as a pretty serious fine. And even McGregor wasn’t immune from the penalty for blowing off pre-fight media obligations, as we saw when he got yanked from UFC 200.

You mess with the UFC’s money, there will be consequences. But what if you’re just out there acting like a jerk? What if that jerkish behavior veers into criminal territory?

That’s what surprised me about the UFC’s response to the Werdum boomerang incident (hereafter known as “Werdumerang”). The initial statement said that the UFC would be investigating whether or not it violated the “Athlete Conduct Policy.” Now, I don’t know if there’s a specific clause in there about hitting other fighters in the neck with a damn boomerang, but it’s hard for me to imagine how you could even have a code of conduct that something like that wouldn’t violate.

Seriously, we all saw the video. Werdum was standing there arguing with Covington and then decided to hit him in the neck with an aerodynamic stick. I don’t know how many brilliant detectives we really need in order to crack this case.

Let me ask you this: When you heard about this incident, did you entertain the thought, even for a second, that the UFC might pull Werdum out of his fight as punishment? Probably not. That’d be crazy, right? Just because a guy gets charged with assault outside the host hotel two days before the event, that’s no reason to scratch him from the headlining spot. Why, that’d be bad for business. Better to take your time with the investigation until after the show’s over and the money’s all been counted.

Why is it so hard to believe that, in the instant before he turned his souvenir into a weapon, Werdum ran through the same calculation in his head? And if he knew there was no way he’d lose his chance to fight and get paid, hell, why not find out if a boomerang can still fly inside a plastic bag?

Downes: You do realize you’re attributing a cold, calculated process of judgement to a man who threw a boomerang at another person, right?

You’re correct that many fighters (at least the high-profile ones) know they can get away with a certain level of misbehavior, but all the discipline in the world isn’t going to prevent impulsive people from doing impulsive things. What are the odds on Werdum picking on a bantamweight the next time he makes a public appearance? Obviously he has a hard time walking away from confrontations, and he’s not the only MMA fighter who would fall into that category.

You’ve complained about the arbitrary nature of the Nevada State Athletic Commission on multiple occasions. I fail to see how the UFC would avoid the same mistakes. That doesn’t mean that nothing should be done, but the current UFC structure is not equipped to handle these matters. If the company executives tried to take a tougher stance on conduct issues, they would bumble through it and open themselves up to lawsuits just like the NFL.

You think they’re going to risk the leverage they have in labor relations to teach Werdum that he should use his words (at least his non-homophobic ones) instead of his boomerangs? Not likely.

Perhaps all these disciplinary issues will hurt the bottom line and spurn some action. News stories about your athletes throwing boomerangs or using bigoted language are not good for the “brand.” You said that if you mess with the UFC’s money, there will be consequences. But none of the altercations we’ve discussed have done that so far.

Maybe the UFC needs to hire Matt Hughes back to get his crack team of policy strategists back together. More likely, though, what it needs is a panel to hear appeals and mete out punishments like other sports leagues. This can’t be some reactionary, spur-of-the-moment answer. It may seem more fulfilling to have someone unilaterally deal out discipline, but that doesn’t solve any longterm issues.

I do wonder, though, what type of discipline would satisfy us. MMA, by its nature, does not lend itself to effective judgments. You can’t suspend fighters for a few games (they only fight a couple times a year) and most of them don’t make enough money to make fines a fair method. Punishment and justice are two totally different things. We may desire the former, but we should aim for the latter.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

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UFC's Volkan Oezdemir issues statement on arrest following 'bar room altercation'

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UFC fighter Volkan Oezdemir has issued a statement through his management team following his recent arrest.

As MMAjunkie reported earlier today, Oezdemir was arrested Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability.

Oezdemir’s manager, Frederic Englund, sent a statement to MMAjunkie in which the fighter and his team claim it’s the result of a “bar room altercation” in August in which the UFC light-heavyweight contender was “not the aggressor.”

Here’s the full statement:

“Volkan Oezdemir appeared in a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida courtroom Sunday morning in response to allegations from an incident in a Ft. Lauderdale bar on August 12, 2017. Mr. Oezdemir was accompanied by his attorney Bruce A. Zimet. Following a brief hearing (before) a Broward County Circuit judge, Mr. Oezdemir was granted a $10,000 bond during the pendency of his case. Mr. Zimet, a former federal prosecutor, described the incident that formed the basis of the case as nothing more than a bar room altercation in which Mr. Oezdemir, who was not the aggressor, was totally justified in all of his actions pursuant to Florida law.

“Mr. Oezdemir expressed his faith in the America judicial system and looks forward to all of the facts involved in the August 12, 2017 incident being made public. Mr. Oezdemir has full confidence that when the full picture is presented that he will be totally vindicated.”

Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), a 28-year-old Switzerland native, has been training in South Florida with Combat Club, a team that formed in the wake of the general dissolution of the Blackzilians.

Earlier this month, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) told MMAjunkie that he and Oezdemir, who’s No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light-heavyweight rankings, were close to finalizing a title fight. At the time, Cormier said the title bout likely would happen in early 2018.

In a statement, UFC officials said they’re aware of Oezdemir’s arrest and looking into it.

Check back with MMAjunkie for more details as they become available.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir arrested on battery charge in Florida

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UFC light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir may have a hurdle to cross that doesn’t deal with getting a title shot.

Oezdemir was arrested Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability. According to his arrest record, he is being held in the Broward County jail pending a bond hearing.

The state of Florida’s statute for Oezdemir’s charge says a person commits aggravated battery if he “intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.”

No other details of the case were made available, and a full arrest report was not yet searchable in the Broward County Sheriff’s department’s database.

Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), a 28-year-old Switzerland native, has been training in South Florida with Combat Club, a team that formed in the wake of the general dissolution of the Blackzilians.

Oezdemir came to the UFC earlier this year and took a short-notice fight against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston. There, he upset the favored “OSP with a split decision.

But since then, his climb into title contention has been much more definitive. At UFC Fight Night 109 in Sweden, he took out Misha Cirkunov with a 28-second knockout. And at UFC 214 in July, he needed just 42 seconds to starch Jimi Manuwa with a bonus-winning knockout, giving him five straight wins.

Earlier this month, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier told MMAjunkie that he and Oezdemir were close to finalizing a title fight. At the time, Cormier said the title bout likely would happen at the beginning of 2018.

On Saturday night, Cormier posted on his Instagram account that he was “so excited to do this again. Boys we ready!!”

Cormier’s longtime friend and American Kickboxing Academy teammate Luke Rockhold has been training at Combat Club, as well, with striking coach Henri Hooft. Because of that, Oezdemir tried to troll Cormier on social media by implying he was getting the inside scoop on the champion. But it didn’t necessarily go his way.

The UFC has not yet commented on Oezdemir’s arrest. Stay tuned to MMAjunkie for more on this story when it becomes available.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Volkan Oezdemir on UFC title shot vs. Daniel Cormier: 'Just waiting on a contract to sign'

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NEW YORK – UFC light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir just needs to sign the paper to make his fight with champ Daniel Cormier official.

Backstage at UFC 217, Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) told reporters he is the next contender for Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), and all that needs to be confirmed is a date.

“Nothing is confirmed right now, but everything is in talks,” Oezdemir said this past Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “I’m just waiting on a contract to sign, and I’m on.”

Oezdemir indicated UFC 220 is a leading candidate to host the bout. The pay-per-view event takes place Jan. 20 at TD Garden in Boston. It’ll be Cormier’s first fight since losing the title to Jon Jones, only to be reinstated when Jones (21-1-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) failed a post-fight drug test for a banned substance.

Oezdemir doesn’t question the legitimacy of Cormier’s title and is grateful to the champ for giving him the opportunity to fight.

“He is the champ,” Oezdemir said. “I have no doubt about that. He beats everyone at heavyweight and light heavyweight. He’s the champ. What happened with Jones is controversial, so now, everything’s different. But Cormier’s one of the toughest guys in the 205-pound division and pound-for-pound also. It’s amazing for me to be fighting him.”

Cormier declared Oezdemir the No. 1 contender to his belt after an informal online poll, and the two have playfully jabbed each other online. The fight was initially discussed as a possibility for December, but Cormier followed doctor’s orders to give himself more time to heal after a knockout loss to Jones in July at UFC 214.

Cormier recently said the fight is nearly a done deal but didn’t mention a date.

Recently, Oezdemir tried to drag Cormier’s longtime training partner and friend Luke Rockhold into the fray with Rockhold training at Oezdemir’s gym. Cormier countered that Rockhold is the classic inside man. Oezdemir doesn’t believe that’s true, but he doesn’t care either way.

“I respect the relationship,” Oezdemir said. “(Rockhold is) training with me. (Cormier) can know all the secrets about me. He’s not going to be able to avoid my power. So all the technique he can do, it’s all about the power in my hands. (Rockhold has) never told me anything. He’s a straightforward guy. I like D.C. also. I respect him, and I really appreciate what he’s offering.”

With only three octagon bouts to his name, it’s been a dizzying rise for the Turkish-Swiss fighter. If the fight takes place in February, it will mark Oezdemir’s one-year anniversary with the UFC.

He plans to celebrate by knocking out Cormier.

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Daniel Cormier: UFC title bout vs. Volkan Oezdemir nearly official, will show him 'new level'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier says it won’t be long before a formal date and location are announced for his title defense against Volkan Oezdemir.

Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who was recently reinstated as champion after Jon Jones was flagged with a potential USADA violation and stripped of the gold, has been angling for a matchup with Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) for his next title defense. The fight is essentially locked in; Cormier just said it’s a matter of an official announcement being made.

“Volkan and I are going to fight,” Cormier told MMAjunkie. “The thing is pretty close to getting confirmed. We’re going to be getting it going, me and Oezdemir.”

It wasn’t long ago when Cormier dismissed a fight with Oezdemir entirely. He was in the midst of his feud with Jones and, with confidence he would win their rematch at UFC 214 in July, thought he was going to be tied into the rivalry with “Bones” for at least one more fight.

When Jones flunked his drug test, though, the situation completely changed, and along with it the landscape of the 205-pound division. Oezdemir has won a number of fights in impressive fashion since, and now he’s looking forward to the contest.

“Last year I said something to the effect of, ‘If I’m here fighting Volkan Oezdemir and Misha Cirkunov, I’ve done something wrong,’” Cormier said. “No one would have thought Volkan would have done this all in one year. It’s been amazing what he has accomplished. But as I always say, they’ve got levels to this game. This is a new level. He’s going to realize that more in the octagon.”

Cormier said the fight with Oezdemir will happen in the “beginning of next year,” but promotion is already underway. Oezdemir has been training at Combat Club in Florida, which also has housed former UFC middleweight champion and Cormier’s good friend, Luke Rockhold.

Oezdemir attempted to troll Cormier by indicating he was getting the inside scoop, but Cormier fired back in kind. He said Rockhold’s presence at Combat Club, as well as American Kickboxing Academy, is unlikely to play into the fight, because gauging info isn’t his style.

“Luke has to do the best thing for Luke,” Cormier said. “He has this great chemistry with Henri Hooft, who is a fantastic coach. He likes to train with him. I’m not ever going to hold anything against my brother for seeking a way to better himself. He’s going to be home in a couple weeks, so he’ll be back in our gym. Which is crazy that he’ll be popping between both camps. He’s doing what’s best for Luke Rockhold, and I applaud him for it.”

For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Volkan Oezdemir's attempt to troll UFC champ Daniel Cormier kind of backfired

Daniel Cormier knows the promotional aspect of the fight game as well as anyone, so if you’re going to come at the UFC light heavyweight champion, you better not miss.

Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who is expected to next challenge Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) for the 205-pound belt, learned that the hard way over the weekend. He attempted to troll “DC” by using his good friend and training partner Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) against him, but in the end it backfired.

Oezdemir trains out of Florida’s newly formed Combat Club academy. Rockhold has been training at the facility intermediately in recent months, meaning he’s shared the gym who is likely to next face his American Kickboxing Academy teammate Cormier.

According to Oezdemir, he’s been gathering intel from Rockhold about how to dethrone the champion during training sessions. Cormier shut that down quickly, though, indicating that the situation is actual the other way around and Rockhold is actually his “inside man” (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

@lukerockhold we always knew he wasn’t very smart, but this seems to be working better than I could have ever imagined. They really have no clue, keep sending me the intel. Last nights report was amazing. Thanks Brother #weareaka #mybrother #day1 #insideman

After suffering a knockout loss to Jon Jones at UFC 214 that was later overturned to a no-contest, because of a failed drug test, Cormier has said he plans to sit out of the remainder of the year. He intends on fighting Oezdemir in the first quarter of 2018, but even this far out, the gamesmanship is in full effect.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie