UFC London: Back in the Win Column, Volkan Oezdemir Wants on UFC Paris Card

London, England — Successfully navigating the treacherous minefield that is Paul Craig’s ground game at UFC London, Volkan Oezdemir came away with a unanimous decision win.

The victory snapped a two-fight skid for “No Time,” and marks his first win since 2019.

“I’m happy about the performance. I knew Paul was a tough guy, he’s an ace on the floor. So the game plan was really easy: make it really tight on the floor, just prevent him from doing any actions, just stand back up and put the fight on the feet,” Oezdemir told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “So the game plan was really really good. I stopped all of his takedowns, and obviously I showed also that I have my strengths in every department.”

While the action was stop-and-go during the fight, with Oezdemir refusing to engage on the ground with Craig, there was a certain spark between them. That’s something that began at Friday’s weigh-in, the Swiss light heavyweight stated.

“Maybe a lot of people don’t look at him in his eyes. If somebody looks at me in my eyes, I’m not going to give up,” Oezdemir said regarding the bad blood between them. “He also started, even during the weigh-in, he just started behind the curtains, some mind games from him. Just looking me in the eyes, just back-and-forth a few times. We had to be separated by the security two, three times backstage. So stuff like that. He played a lot of games; it’s camera, action, and he goes, and then when it’s f*cking fight time he just lays on the floor. It’s whatever.”

With an impressive win over the #8 fighter in the weight class (Oezdemir himself sits at #9), Volkan Oezdemir already has a plan for what’s next.

“I’m really excited for UFC Paris, I want to be part of it,” he stated. “First event in France, that will be amazing for the French crowd. I’m also a French speaking guy. So that will be perfect. Anyway I’m going to be there, fighting or not. This is going to be huge for France and all the French-speaking people, so I’m really happy with that.”

In terms of an opponent, Oezdemir is waiting for some other fights to play out. “Santos-Hill, there is a lot of opportunity. Maybe now maybe [Nikita] Krylov as well. We will see what’s next. I’ll take anybody. If everybody is taken, I’ll even go under the top 10. If I can get a fight, I’m gonna get a fight. Now I just showed what I’m worth, beating the number eight, and I’m going to take anybody to go back to title contention.”

Krylov picked up a win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC London. Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill fight early next month. If it all works out, we could see Oezdemir again soon.

Watch the full UFC London post-fight press scrum with Volkan Oezdemir above.