Daniel Cormier will defend the UFC light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir on January 20th, 2018 at UFC 220 in Boston’s TD Garden.
Cormier was recently reinstated as the UFC’s 205-pound king after Jon Jones failed yet another drug test. Prior to that, Jones stopped Cormier cold during their rematch at UFC to reclaim the UFC light heavyweight crown. The loss was Cormier’s second to Jones and only the second loss of his MMA career.
Volkan Oezdemir is one of the fastest rising fighters in the UFC. A winner of three straight bouts, Oezdemir is coming off a victory over the highly touted Jimi Manuwa in July. Prior to that, Oezdemir scored a first round KO of Misha Cirkunov and came away with a split decision win over Ovince St. Preux.
Untested Ground Game
DC is the favorite here at -300 while Oezdemir came back at +240.
Oezdemir has that one punch knockout power in him so he always has a shot to win any fight. But against Cormier, he’ll be fighting an opponent who has seen it all inside that Octagon. Cormier is one of the sport’s best grapplers owing to his collegiate and Olympic wrestling background. Against a powerful striker like Oezdemir, you bet he’s going to take this fight to the ground.
Oezdemir has real knockout power and is primarily a striker because of his kickboxing background. On his feet, he averages 6.12 significant strikes per minute landed but in three UFC fights, he has zero takedowns landed.
This is going to be his problem against Cormier who is a supreme wrestler. DC averages just 1.81 takedowns per 15 minutes but he doesn’t need to many of them. Once he gets his opponent to the ground, it’s going to be a grind.
DC is Too Smart
There is no denying that Volkan Oezdemir has the power to knock out anybody. While Cormier has a granite chin, we saw him get knocked out by Jon Jones due to voluminous strikes. Oezdemir is well capable of doing the same, that is if he withstands Cormier’s ground attack early in the fight.
We’ve seen this in many of DC’s older fights. He takes his opponents down early and punishes them on the ground. In the later rounds, his opponents get weary and Cormier begins to take over. Looks like this will be how this fight unfolds.
DC is too smart to stand and trade with Oezdemir. He’s going to take away his punching power by forcing him to the ground early. Once Oezdemir’s pop is gone, DC’s going to take care of this fight.
We’re picking Daniel Cormier to win this bout by decision.