Cormier happy to fight Gus or OSP if Oezdemir unavailable
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is expected to next defend his title vs. #2 contender Volkan Oezdemir. However, the 28-year-old Swiss challenger was recently arrested over a bar altercation in August. If Oezdemir is unavailable, Cormier said during a recent appearance on The Anik & Florian Podcast that he plans to fight #1 contender #5 Ovince Saint Preux instead.
“Of course, I’d fight any of these guys. It doesn’t matter,” said Cormier, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “This guy’s on the longest win streak in the division so he was getting the title shot but if this trouble is gonna keep him out of the opportunity, I’ll just go to the next guy. So, of course, I’d fight Gustafsson and someone told me yesterday that Team Ovince Saint Preux was like, ‘We want a title fight because we’ve got a good winning streak too.’ Whoever is winning gets the title shot, that’s just the way it is. I don’t care who it is.”
“It’s kind of all fluid right now because we’ve got to see what happens with this guy. Alexander Gustafsson was never gonna be right now anyway, I think he may be dealing with some things. If it has to be him then I guess the fight will be a little bit later in the year, but I’d love to compete in Boston.”
The details of the incident are unknown at this point, but his manager Frederic Englund released a statement to MMAjunkie.
“Volkan Oezdemir appeared in a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida courtroom Sunday morning in response to allegations from an incident in a Ft. Lauderdale bar on August 12, 2017. Mr. Oezdemir was accompanied by his attorney Bruce A. Zimet. Following a brief hearing (before) a Broward County Circuit judge, Mr. Oezdemir was granted a $10,000 bond during the pendency of his case. Mr. Zimet, a former federal prosecutor, described the incident that formed the basis of the case as nothing more than a bar room altercation in which Mr. Oezdemir, who was not the aggressor, was totally justified in all of his actions pursuant to Florida law.
“Mr. Oezdemir expressed his faith in the America judicial system and looks forward to all of the facts involved in the August 12, 2017 incident being made public. Mr. Oezdemir has full confidence that when the full picture is presented that he will be totally vindicated.”
Cormier offered some sage advice, saying in essence that the best thing for self-defense/career defense is to stay away from drunk people.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Cormier. “You’ve got to not be doing things that are wrong or put yourself in these situations where stuff can go sideways. You’ve got to try to stay out of those positions.
“Maybe it was self-defense but because he is who he is, it’s much worse because he has the ability to sleep dudes that are trying to hit him. You never know what’s happening but even these run-ins, they’re really unneeded, especially when you’re a young guy as Volkan is and you’re on the cusp of something so big for the first time in your career.”