Volkan Oezdemir’s first shot at the UFC light heavyweight title did not go as planned, as he was thwarted by the ground-and-pound of champion Daniel Cormier in the bout’s second stanza. Despite this tough loss, the Swiss knockout artist doesn’t seem to be discouraged in the slightest. In fact, he believes he can be the UFC light heavyweight champion within a year.
“It’s all about the goal,” Oezdemir told MMAjunkie late last week. “It’s all about where I’m headed… I’m still heading toward the same goal. It was not even one year to [earn] my title shot, and I guarantee you it’s not going to be another year until I’m champion.”
With this loss to Cormier soundly in the rear-view mirror, Oezdemir is determined to treat the entire ordeal as a learning experience.
“I think it’s a little bit of everything,” Oezdemir said. “It’s a big picture. It’s a mix of technique. It’s a mix of understanding the flow, the momentum, the timing during fights. Of course it’s different when you fight the champion and somebody who’s been in there before and fought against the best of the best, so it’s definitely something that you learn from, and this makes you a better fighter.”
Volkan Oezdemir’s purposeful march back to title contention will commence on May 19, in Santiago, Chile, when he battles former UFC light heavyweight champion and PRIDE legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. While much will depend on the outcome of Daniel Cormier’s UFC 226 heavyweight title superfight with Stipe Miocic, it’s possible the winner of Oezdemir and Shogun’s showdown in Chile could get the next crack at the UFC light heavyweight title.
Do you think Switzerland’s Volkan Oezdemir is a future UFC light heavyweight champion? Join the conversation in the comments section below!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/26/2018.