It’s taken Oezdemir less than year to bomb his way into a title shot (one might say, almost ‘no time’ at all…sorry), as following the Swiss fighter’s decision win over Ovince Saint Preux, he KO’d Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. Not only that, Oezdemir finished both contenders in 70 seconds…total. Thus, the nickname.
Well, recently the UFC held a media call, in advance of the January 20th, UFC 220 card in Boston. During it, Cormier had this to say about Oezdemir, and his fearsome power (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“You’ve got guys like Rumble that was just knocking everyone out,” Cormier said. “You’ve got guys like Volkan, and they just knock everybody out so you do fall in love with them.”
“It’s not just about punching hard,” Cormier said. “This game is about much more, it’s about what you have up top, mentally, all-around mixed martial arts game, experience, all these things, whether I’m at the commentary booth, the host table or something, or just on these calls, there are levels to this game on the level. When a person isn’t on the level, they get exposed, very quickly. I think that Volkan is a fantastic fighter. I believe that he believes in himself and in his power. But to beat me just being powerful is not enough.”
It’s certainly true that we’ve seen Cormier face guys who can crack before. Case in point, he defeated the aforementioned Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, not once, but twice. Anderson Silva and Alexander Gustafsson aren’t known for having heavy hands, but, both men are talented strikers, and Cormier defeated them as well.
So, the big question is, does Oezdemir have the agility and wrestling defense, to dethrone the champ? During the call, the challenger claimed that he’s on a “new level” now, and Oezdemir hasn’t sounded short on confidence, leading up to the bout.
UFC 220 will be hosted by the TD Garden Arena in Boston. In the main event, heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic will face rising star, Francis Ngannou.