Switzerland isn’t exactly known as one of the world’s foremost fighting countries but in UFC light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir, the Swiss have found a new star to get behind.
Oezdemir scored a stunning early knockout of Misha Cirkunov on Sunday in Stockholm, felling the Canadian less than 30 seconds into the first round of their co-main event contest at UFC Fight Night 109. The victory over Cirkunov, who is considered to be one of the very best prospects at 205-pounds, coupled with his UFC debut win over Ovince St. Preux in February places Oezdemir among the top 5 contenders in the division.
HUGE KO!! @volkan_oezdemir is the REAL deal!! #UFCStockholm pic.twitter.com/TF41VXB6wy
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 28, 2017
And with his new lofty ranking at light heavyweight comes big fights and, as per Oezdemir himself, he wants Jimi Manuwa to be his next port of call inside the octagon.
“There is so much high name, big name, but I also want to test my striking skills. Maybe that could be Jimi Manuwa,” Oezdemir said in remarks after the fight.
“I’ve been working on my game now,” Oezdemir said. “I had a full camp now, 12 weeks of training, last time was two weeks notice fight. So it was a short time to be ready for such a big opponent such as [Ovince Saint-Preux]. Misha was also top ranked but now with a full camp behind me I can do whatever I want. I feel so strong.”
Oezdemir also suggested that he could be ready to compete by UFC 214 in July, the card headlined by Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones. UFC president Dana White has suggested that he is looking to book Manuwa for that card in the event that he could act as replacement should one of the headliners drop out — and as of now, there aren’t many more relevant fights forVolkan Oezdemir.