Despite being in a wee bit of legal trouble, the UFC has booked Volkan Oezdemir against light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 220.
Though looking at time, ‘No Time’ has a date and time for a light heavyweight title shot. The UFC announced Wednesday that Oezdemir, a perfect 3-0 in 2017, will face champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 220 in Boston next year. The pairing had been anticipated for some time, given the lack of contenders and Jon Jones’ current USADA troubles. That said, a recent aggravated battery charge for Oezdemir stemming from a bar fight muddied the waters.
The UFC, however, appears confident that light heavyweight can make the date.
Switzerland’s Oezdemir (15-1) is currently riding a five fight win streak, and has won all three of his UFC bouts to date. He made his promotional debut in February, taking a unanimous decision in an upset against Ovince St. Preux. Subsequent to that, he knocked out fellow contenders Misha Cikunov and Jimi Manuwa. Both fights were over in under a minute.
That paved the way for talk of a title shot for the Swiss fighter. Now, that shot is here. Cormier, meanwhile, has been through a roller coaster year. His chance for revenge against arch-rival Jon Jones ended in crushing defeat — only for that head-kick knockout to be overturned to a no contest. That turn of events came after Jones failed a drug test. Jones remains in limbo while the legal process plays out; his attorneys recently requested and were granted additional time to test supplements.
With the no contest essentially meaning the fight never happened, the light heavyweight title was returned to Cormier (19–1 (1)). UFC 220 will be D.C.’s first fight back since the Jones debacle at UFC 214, and all eyes will be on the champion.
UFC 220 takes place at the TD Garden Arena in Boston, MA on January 20.