Today we talk about the talented newcomer, light heavyweight Swiss-born Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir. The UFC fighter who proved that he is one of the best and hard working light heavyweights on the planet in absolutely No Time! Six months, three fights and three wins, was all it took. Now Oezdemir will be fighting for Daniel Cormier’s 205lb belt. Not many can accomplish what No Time Oezdemir has. In a short period of time, the Swiss has beaten three of UFC’s top-ranked light heavyweight fighters. Take a look at how it all began.
Oezdemir was born on September 19, 1989, in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland to a Turkish father and Swiss mother. As a teenager, Oezdemir started practicing kickboxing and traveled around the world to places such as Thailand in order to train. One day he decided to travel to the Netherlands, a country known for producing some of the greatest kickboxers ever. Oezdemir had the opportunity to try Golden Glory kickboxing gym. Home to none other than former K-1 World Grand Prix winner and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who later became Oezdemir’s good friend and mentor.
While at Golden Glory, Oezdemir showed loads of dedication and they quickly saw potential in him. They offered him a full training camp and suggested that he should try the sport of mixed martial arts. At first, Oezdemir was reluctant because it was still a big transition from kickboxing but he gained motivation to do so during his camp at Golden Glory. After being introduced to mixed martial arts and spending some time with Overeem he left the Netherlands. He then went on to have a taste of the sport and started his professional career shortly after.
Did you know that Oezdemir once defeated three MMA fighters on the same night? All three via (T)KO in less than 3 minutes.
The Blackzillians and The UFC
With some very dominant wins on his record, Oezdemir still found it hard to progress as a fighter in Switzerland, mainly due to the lack of popularity of MMA. He often admits that it was hard to afford a sport that required so much of him but with so little reward. He found it hard to get the right motivation and the right team to work with and contemplated quitting the sport forever. After a short run with Bellator, Oezdmir decided to advance his kickboxing career. He signed with the famous European kickboxing organization Superkombat Fighting Championship in 2014 where he stacked up a 5-0 winning record in professional kickboxing. It was then that he decided that the right thing to be made was to move to the country where MMA was taken very seriously and a very fast-growing sport.
He risked it all and moved to Florida, United States, leaving his family and friends behind. There, due to his talent and incredible work ethic, he was quickly approached by the prestigious professional fighting team, Blackzillians and everything changed. In 2017 Oezdemir was given the opportunity of a lifetime, the opportunity that he had worked so hard for; fighting for the UFC. And the rest is history.
It all started with the short notice replacement of Jan Blachowicz where Oezdemir faced and beat Ovince Saint Preux on February 4, 2017, via. unanimous decision. Then he went on to KO both ranked Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in the very first round. This was one of the most impressive accomplishments to date. Not many fighters at the elite level can beat three ranked fighters with so little time between fights.
Oezdemir’s good impression in the UFC earned him a shot at Daniel Cormier’s championship belt at UFC 220. Cormier is considered by many as one of the greatest grapplers and light heavyweights on the planet. Having wins against fighters such as Alexander Gustafsson, Dan Henderson, and Anthony Jonhson, Cormier will be Oezedemir’s toughest challenge to date.
The fight takes place on January 20, 2018, at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.