Volkan Oezdemir’s been hoping to lock up a title fight with champion Jon Jones, but since it looks like the latter will take on Alexander Gustafasson, it looks like the heavy handed fighter’s changing gears…
After Oezdemir took out Jimi Manuwa in emphatic fashion at UFC 214, “No Time” began campaigning for a title fight with Jones. At the time, the light-heavyweight argued that he should fight Jones, instead of Gustafsson, since they’ve never fought. Oezdemir also noted that Jones’ epic battle with Gustafsson took place a few years back (in 2013), and that “maybe it’s time for some new blood”.
Well, while some folks may agree with Oezdemir on this, the consensus seems to be that Gustafsson is next for Jones. After all, the UFC has tried booking Jones – Gustafsson II in the past, and the latter’s coming off an impressive win over Glover Teixeira. So what could be next for Oezdemir?
“[Daniel] Cormier could be an option in the future because he’s going to have to come back in the scene,” Oezdemir said. “Even though he comes off a loss, he’s still going to be the number one contender. We tried to work something out [with Alexander Gustafsson] for UFC Poland in the main event, but like I told you, he’s concentrating on fighting [Jon] Jones.”
“It could be a good opportunity also,” Oezdemir added. “He’s the second guy in the division. He was the title holder for awhile also, but I think maybe he needs some time off after the rebound.”
There’s no question that fighting Cormier would be a huge opportunity for Oezdemir. If he were to defeat the former champ, then there would be little doubt that he’s next in line for a title shot.
But, even if Cormier decides he doesn’t want too much time off, would the UFC want to move forward with this match-up? If Jones defended the title against Gustafsson, and Cormier defeated Oezdemir, then the promotion wouldn’t really have a viable contender for “Bones”. Then again, will the UFC keep Oezdemir on the sidelines until after Jones – Gustafsson II?