The hit list was impressive as it was quick: Ovince Saint Preux, Misha Cirkunov, then Jimi Manuwa at UFC 214. Volkan Oezdemir came out of absolutely nowhere and devastated the shallow light heavyweight division. Rocketing to top three, it’s hard to believe that Oezdemir has such a short list of opponents since he just debuted in the UFC in February, but that’s what happens when you just start knocking out dudes. It’s a no-brainer that he wants to fight Jon Jones for the belt, but Jones seems to have his eyes on Brock Lesnar. He wants to fight Alexander Gustafsson, but he that rematch with Jones. That only leaves one man: Daniel Cormier.
“[Daniel] Cormier could be an option in the future because he’s going to have to come back in the scene. Even though he comes off a loss, he’s still going to be the number one contender. We tried to work something out [with Alexander Gustafsson] for UFC Poland in the main event, but like I told you, he’s concentrating on fighting [Jon] Jones. […] It could be a good opportunity also. He’s the second guy in the division. He was the title holder for awhile also, but I think maybe he needs some time off after the rebound.” – Volkan Oezdemir via The MMA Digest.
Feb 4, 2017 – UFC debut
Aug 3, 2017- Up to third in light heavyweight rankings
— BT Sport UFC (@btsportufc) August 3, 2017
— Volkan Oezdemir (@volkan_oezdemir) August 7, 2017
It’s hard to argue against Volkan Oezdemir’s logic, or his gimmick. The man has no time, and in just that he’s floating around right at the tip top waiting for a title shot. Daniel Cormier has proven he’s the best light heavyweight in the division — as well as the world — not named Jon Jones. All signs pointed to him fighting with Jimi Manuwa, but that was until Oezdemir knocked him into the dark lands of wind and ghosts. It’s going to be interesting to see how all this pans out when Cormier decides to come back.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/18/2017.