Volkan Oezdemir knew he was going to face Nikita Krylov next time out right after UFC London.
Oezdemir and Krylov both picked up wins at UFC London in July and shortly after the event, the two light heavyweight finishers were matched up. It’s also a scrap that Oezdemir thought was inevitable after they were booked to fight one another in 2020.
“At the end of my fight I was doing the post-fight interview with the media and Gustafsson was fighting and I was watching the screen and what happened, happened,” Oezdemir said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I was feeling bad in the media room and we already talked about the Krylov fight being possible. After his fight, he also mentioned me, so it was the fight to make. We were already supposed to fight once so now is the right time.”
Along with being matched up with one another in the past, Oezdemir also wanted this fight due to Krylov scoring the first-round KO win over Alexander Gustafsson back in July. Oezdemir and Gustafsson are now teammates and spent the entire training camp with one another so the Swiss native wants to get one back for Gustafsson.
“Yeah, definitely. I did the entire camp with Alex and whenever we do this we expected to come back with two victories,” Oezdemir said. “I felt really bad so I’m going to get one back for him.”
Entering the fight, Oezdemir is expecting Krylov to try and wrestle and clinch him early to try and tire him out. Yet, he also knows Krylov is dangerous on the feet so Oezdemir has to be careful at all times.
“The thing is, he is going to try and punch for a little bit and once he feels comfortable he will try and surprise me and shoot,” Oezdemir explained. “Part of his game plan will be to fight me against the cage and make my arms tired, so he’s a complete fighter. He has a lot of submission wins, some knockouts so I expect to face a mixed martial artist in front of me.”
Although Volkan Oezdemir is expecting Nikita Krylov to try and wrestle him, he does think the two will also stand and trade with one another. Once that happens, Oezdemir is confident he will get a first-round KO win.
“This one is definitely not going past the first round,” Oezdemir said. “This will be fireworks, I expect him to come out fast in the first round and that is what I’m going to do anyways. It’s going to be a knockout for me in the first round.”
If Oezdemir does get the stoppage win he hopes to fight someone in the top five next and continue to build his way to another title shot.
“I think I will need one or two fights in the top five until I can get a shot at the title. So, maybe one more in the top five and then a title eliminator,” Oezdemir said. “I need to show a nice finish and make the people talk about me.”
Do you think Volkan Oezdemir will KO Nikita Krylov at UFC 280?