It’s common knowledge now that Daniel Cormier was slated to defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir. There was no official announcement, but the two have both let it slip that UFC 220 in Boston was going to be the date. That was, until an altercation at a bar ended up putting everything in jeopardy for the rising contender. Obviously, this has to hit close to home for Cormier, who opened up about the situation in a recent interview. He’s also ready and willing to defend against anyone else if Oezdemir’s chance has to be delayed.
“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 of your career. 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 he is who is is, 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 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.”
— Volkan Oezdemir (@volkan_oezdemir) November 5, 2017
“I’ve been waiting for the final go ahead. Obviously this throws a wrench into those plans, when we see what happens to Oezdemir. It’s kind of all fluid right now because we’ve got to see what happens with this guy. Alexander Gustafsson was never gonna’ be ready right now anyway, I think he may be dealing with some things. If it has to be him then I guess the fight will be a little bit later in the year, but I’d love to compete in Boston. Of course, I’d fight any of these guys. It doesn’t matter. [Volkan Oezdemir] is on the longest win streak in the division so he was getting the title shot but if this trouble is gonna’ keep him out of the opportunity, I’ll just go to the next guy. So of course I’d fight Gustafsson and 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.” — Daniel Cormier speaking on on The Anik & Florian Podcast.
There was a lot of people that wanted Alexander Gustafsson to get another crack at the belt instead of Oezdemir, but as Cormier said, Volkan was on the better win streak. Even still, the new nugget here by Cormier is that evidently Gustafsson won’t even be ready by January 20th. If the champ has to defend against against Gus, the fight may not take place in Boston. However, Ovince Saint Preux is still there trying to shoot his shot. We’ll keep an eye on how these things play out.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/21/2017.