The UFC is ready to kick-off its first pay-per-view event of the year on January 20, 2018, which includes the Light Heavyweight title on the line. Late last year, Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) confirmed his first title defense will be against Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC). This will be his second reign as the Light Heavyweight champion after Jon Jones was stripped of the belt for failing a drug test post-UFC 214.
The bout is set to serve as the nights co-main event with Stipe Miocic defending the Heavyweight title against Francis Ngannou in the main-event. Oezdemir was arrested late last year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm but since then has pleaded not guilty. Since that incident it has been confirmed Oezdemir’s legal problems would not affect his title fight with Cormier. One can only wonder if the UFC booked the heavyweight title fight between Miocic vs. Ngannou to be on the safe side.
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UFC 220 Preview: Cormier vs Oezdemir
Volkan Oezdemir remains undefeated in the UFC. He fought three times last year beginning with a split decision win over Ovince-Saint-Preux on February 4, 2017. He followed that up with a win over Misha Cirkunov via KO (punch) on May 28, 2017. Oezdemir finished the year with a win, and performance of the night against Jimi Manuwa. He defeated him via KO (punches) on July 29, 2017.
Daniel Cormier, on the other hand, had a bit of an awkward up and down year. It began with Cormier successfully defending the Light Heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson at UFC 210. At UFC 214 the troubles in the 205 lbs division began. Cormier lost the Light Heavyweight title to long-time foe Jon Jones via KO (head kick and punches). The result was overturned after Jones tested positive for Turinabol.
Daniel Cormier looks to cement himself as one of, if not the greatest Light Heavyweight fighters in the world. He also looks to erase bad memories from the Jon Jones fight. A big win over Volkan Oezdemir could accomplish just that. Oezdemir looks to remain undefeated in the UFC and improve his record to 4-0. More importantly, he seeks to accomplish his goal and become the new Light Heavyweight champion.
UFC 220 is set to take place January 20, 2018, at the TD Garden arena in Boston, Massachussetts.
The UFC complete main card line up is as follows:
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou- Heavyweight title fight
Daniel Cormier VS Volkan Oezdemir- Light Heavyweight title fight
Calvin Kattar vs Shane Burgos
Gian Villante vs Francimar Barroso
Thomas Almeida vs Rob Font
Main Photo: ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – SEPTEMBER 01: Danish heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir interacts with fans during a Q&A session before the UFC Fight Night Weigh-in at the Rotterdam Ahoy on September 1, 2017, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)