Volkan Oezdemir laughs off Daniel Cormier's trash talk ahead of light-heavyweight title fight at UFC 220

Exclusive interview: Oezdemir takes on Cormier in Saturday’s UFC 220 co-headliner, looking to crown his utterly remarkable rise in the sport

Luke Brown
Friday 19 January 2018 14:11
Comments
Volkan Oezdemir fights for the light-heavyweight title this weekend
Volkan Oezdemir fights for the light-heavyweight title this weekend

Volkan Oezdemir has laughed off Daniel Cormier’s taunts that he isn’t “on his level” and has broken down exactly how he plans on winning the UFC light-heavyweight belt, in an interview with The Independent ahead of his title shot this weekend.

Oezdemir will take on Cormier in Saturday’s UFC 220 co-headliner, looking to crown his utterly remarkable rise in the sport.

The Swiss fighter only began training MMA full-time in 2015 after moving to South Florida, but has embarked on an eye-catching winning streak, beating Ovince Saint Preux on points before first-round knockout wins over Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa secured him his title shot.

Cormier, who was reinstated as light-heavyweight champion when Jon Jones failed a drugs test after UFC 214 last July, has repeatedly accused his opponent of being out of his depth in some eye-catching trash talk ahead of the contest, but Oezdemir says he has found the pre-fight exchanges nothing but comical.

“Actually, I just find all of that stuff very funny,” Oezdemir said from Boston, Massachusetts, ahead of the biggest fight of his career.

“I have to admit that he has said some very funny stuff. I have a sense of humour and so some of the stuff has really made me laugh, he’s a very funny guy.

“It seriously doesn’t affect me at all and I’m just going into this fight trying to enjoy the moment. I have worked very hard for this opportunity to become a world champion, so I am staying focused and relaxed.”

Cormier was reinstated as light-heavyweight champion after UFC 214

Oezdemir, 28, has an aggressive striking style and enjoyed a run of eight successive first-round knockouts while making his name in the sport between 2011 and 2014, but claims he will be able to mix up his approach when in the octagon with Cormier, a former college wrestler.

“I know what’s going to happen, he’s going to come at me and strike for a bit but, let’s face it, at the end of the day he’s a wrestler and he’s going to go where he is most comfortable,” Oezdemir explained.

“People usually go back to their background. I am able to fight at long-distance but then I am also very effective from close-range and in the clinch, so I’m still confident of the knockout.”

The Swiss native also refuted claims that he is fighting a weakened Cormier, after the reigning champion was knocked out in his last contest against Jones.

Cormier was dropped by Jones with a vicious head kick in the third-round of a thrilling fight at UFC 214, but the result was eventually overturned and declared a no-contest because of Jones’s transgressions.

But Oezdemir – who boasts a professional MMA record of 15-1 – has said that he anticipates fighting the strongest possible version of Cormier, which will make his victory even sweeter.

“I know that I am facing Cormier at his toughest,” he added. “He is a big competitor and has a real thirst for victory. He is the kind of guy that trains very hard and of course we all know about his work ethic.

“I know that he will have had a hard training camp and I know that he wants to put things right after his last fight. But I have been training very hard too. I’m confident of the win and, after that, it’s going to be a whole new world for me.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in