Volkan Oezdemir, the top light heavyweight contender, appears to be clear for his title fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 220 on Jan 20, after pleading ‘not guilty’ to a third-degree battery charge in court yesterday.
Volkan Oezdemir is currently charged with felony battery with great bodily harm in relation to an altercation outside a bar in Florida, back in August in which he was alleged to have knocked out a man, Kevin Cohen, left him unconscious for 14 minutes.
As per a report from MMAFighting, who spoken with Oezdemir’s attorney Bruce A. Zimet, the Swiss fighter pleaded not guilty to this felony charge and demanded a trial by jury at a Tuesday arraignment, and his next court date is scheduled for Feb. 22.
However, Oezdemir has claimed that he only acted in self-defense, and with no domestic travel restrictions being given in the meantime. He can now turn his attention back to preparing to fight the current light-heavyweight champion Cormier in Boston on January 20th.
After joining the UFC roster in early 2017, Oezdemir (15-1) has gone on to register 3 wins with notable contenders like Ovince St. Preux by decision in a short-notice bout, then pounding Misha Cirkunov with a first-round blow, and most recently crushing Jimi Manuwa to a first-round stoppage back in July.
Daniel Cormier, last fought back in July, when he was knocked out by Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. Later Jones failed a pre-fight drug test, his knockout win was overturned, and the belt was returned to Cormier.
Do you think despite his legal troubles, Volkan Oezdemir will manage to capture the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 220?