Volkan Oezdemir will be one half of the crew who will try to dethrone the UFC champions tonight and prove that they belong at the very top of the heap in their division. Many people are counting them both out, including their opponents of course. Al that aside, Oezdemir believes that not only did Daniel Cormier commit a crucial error in promoting their UFC 220 light heavyweight title clash, but that all of the pressure is on him instead of the challenger.
“I just don’t understand the logic here. So, [Daniel Cormier]’s coming off a loss. He’s using this fight to gain back his popularity, right? He has a stink on his shoulder. He needs this fight to bring something to his legacy and the only thing he does is try to make me look bad. It doesn’t look good on him, you know? What does he do if he gets a win on me? It’s nothing. His legacy is not going to get back. This is the fight where he needs it. He needs the win and that’s why there is so much pressure on him. So, the win that he needs is gonna be discredited. You know, that’s kind of stupid. I just don’t understand the logic in here.”
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— UFC (@ufc) January 18, 2018
“This is something that is never going to happen. It’s going to be my time on Saturday. I’m going to be emerging victorious. Definitely [there is more pressure on him than me]. He doesn’t have the best momentum right now and that’s something he really has to get. If you end up from a lost like that [to Jon Jones at UFC 214] and then you want to get back into with all the people talking bad about you, then you need to do something and if you want to win you need to win in a good fashion. So, of course he has a lot of pressure and me I don’t really care. […] It’s going to be super amazing for me because something is really going to happen Saturday.” — Volkan Oezdemir speaking to MMA Fighting.
He’s not entirely wrong. Such is the dilemma of building up and promoting a fight. Instead of saying a fighter doesn’t deserve to be in the same Octagon as you, maybe you might want to convince the public that they can beat you and build them up. That way, it makes you look even better when or if you take them out. We will get a chance to see what a win over Volkan Oezdemir does for Daniel Cormier, especially if he can accomplish it in spectacular fashion. However, regardless of whatever was said in the build-up, we and Oezdemir himself knows how huge it would be if he managed to upset the champion.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/20/2018.