UFC Moncton: Volkan Oezdemir Addresses What Went Wrong, Says He Broke Nose During Camp

Volkan Oezdemir didn’t have the performance he wanted on Saturday at UFC Moncton. Afterwards, he broke down what went wrong.

Moncton, NB — On Saturday night at UFC Moncton, Volkan Oezdemir’s time ran out. The Swiss light heavyweight, whose meteoric rise through the 205lb division last year led to a title shot in January, went up against Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith in the evening’s main event. And while finding some success early, by the third round, he was noticeably tiring. Smith turned up the pressure, and when the fight went to the ground, he took Oezdemir’s back. After a valiant attempt by the Swiss fighter to fend him off, Smith locked in the rear-naked choke to force the tap.

Addressing reporters backstage at the Avenir Centre following the loss, Oezdemir discussed what went wrong, and what’s next.

“I felt my fight was going well until I got catched in the nose,” Oezdemir said early Sunday morning. “Definitely, I broke my nose twice during the fight camp,” he revealed. And while he thought that he was good to go, “the nose I guess wasn’t ready for fights, for real blows.”

During the fight with Smith, “definitely, I felt confident, I felt good. I thought I won the first two rounds, the third round was really well,” he continued. “But as soon as he took me down and started the choke, I also felt some blood coming out in my throat, and I guess he made me give up the fight, make me choke.”

Prior to the fight, Oezdemir had questioned whether Smith was ready for the top of the division. Afterwards, asked by Cageside Press how he thought ‘Lionheart’ would fare against the likes of D.C., Jon Jones, or Alexander Gustafsson, Oezdemir suggested he’d do “pretty well.”

“If he keeps fighting like the way he fights. He’s going for it. He has a tough heart, and whatever adversity comes towards him, he’s able to eat it and come back,” he said of the man who got the better of him at UFC Moncton. “Definitely he’s going to be a tough match-up for anyone in the division I guess.”