Volkan Oezdemir’s rise to the top of the Light Heavyweight division came swiftly, much the way his last two fights ended, as “No Time” earned first-round knockouts over Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa, which lasted a combined 70 seconds of actual fighting time.
His knockout power has quickly made him a fan favorite, but if you ask Daniel Cormier, it’s going to take a lot more than a hard punch to beat him at UFC 220 on Jan. 20, 2018 in Boston.
“I think people fall in love with power punchers. I believe it’s just because they finish the fights. They finish fights in no time. The fight is going and all of a sudden it’s over,” said “DC” during a recent media conference call (video replay here).
Cormier is no stranger to facing power punchers, as he has already taken some of Anthony Johnson’s best licks and lived to tell about it, defeating “Rumble” on two separate occasions.
But just like Johnson came up short in every other department of the fight game against the champ, Cormier says it will be much of the same with Oezdemir if he doesn’t come prepared with a well-balanced attack.
“You got guys like ‘Rumble’ who was knocking everybody out. Then you have guys like Volkan, they can knock everybody out and people fall in love with them. But it’s not just about punching hard, this game is about what you have up top mentally and all around mixed martial arts experience,” he added.
“I always say they’re levels to this game. And when the person isn’t on that level, they get exposed very quickly. I think Volkan’s a fantastic fighter, and he believes in himself and his power, but to beat me just being a powerful guy is not going to be enough.”
Prior to joining the UFC ranks, Volkan had a streak of seven first-round knockout victories on the regional circuit, so he’s been taking care of business rather quickly long before he made it to the big show.
Living up to this promise, though, will be a monumental task to say the least.