Earlier this month, we learned that UFC light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir had been arrested ad charged with “aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability.”After a brief stay in the Broward County jail in Florida, his surety bond was set at $10,000.
According to a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which includes video of Oezdemir’s court appearance, the light heavyweight contender’s arrest stems from an August 12 fight with a man named Kevin Cohen, which occurred at a yet-unidentified bar in Fort Lauderdale. During Oezdemir’s hearing, it was explained that Cohen sustained swelling and several cuts as a result of this altercation.
According to Bruce A. Zimet, who is serving as Oezdemir’s attorney, Oezdemir did not start this fight, and was justified in his actions, which seems to imply a self-defense situation. Whatever the circumstances, this would all seem to thrust Oezdemir’s much discussed light heavyweight title fight with Daniel Cormier, which is scheduled for UFC 220 on January 20, into definite jeopardy.
Apparently, however, this title fight is likely to go ahead as planned. During a media lunch on Tuesday, UFC President Dana White assured that Volkan Oezdemir will probably still get his shot, despite his legal woes.
“He’s probably still gonna fight, yeah,” White said.
While Oezdemir hails from Switzerland, he’s been living in Lantana, Florida where he trains under Henri Hooft, Greg Jones and others at Combat Club. Oezdemir joined the UFC roster in late 2016, taking a short notice fight long-time contender Ovince Saint Preux. Despite being much less experienced on the big stage than his opponent, he came out on top in this fight, capturing a close decision win. From there, Oezdemir surged into title contention, authoring blitzkrieg knockout wins over top 10 light heavyweight contenders Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa.
Stay tuned for more updates on Volkan Oezdemir’s legal trouble and possible title fight as they emerge!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 29/11/2017.