UFC president Dana White said Tuesday at a media lunch in Las Vegas that Oezdemir will likely still get the next opportunity to challenge Cormier despite his recent arrest.
“He’s probably still gonna fight, yeah,” White said.
Oezdemir, 28, was arrested Nov. 18 by Fort Lauderdale police for his alleged role in a bar room altercation that took place on Aug. 12. Oezdemir allegedly struck and knocked out Kevin Cohen outside the Florida bar Capone’s. Cohen claims the run-in caused him to lose consciousness for roughly 14 minutes, be treated for concussion symptoms at a local hospital, and be given multiple staples for lacerations.
Oezdemir was arrested on second-degree felony charges of aggravated battery with serious bodily injury as a result of the incident. In a recent preliminary hearing, Oezdemir’s attorney Bruce Zimet argued that Oezdemir was not the aggressor and was fully justified in his actions.
Oezdemir (15-1) is undefeated in the UFC, having defeated the likes of Ovince Saint Preux, Misha Cirkunov, and Jimi Manuwa in his fast ascent to the No. 2 spot of the UFC’s official, media-generated light heavyweight rankings. The Swiss native’s victories over Cirkunov and Manuwa came in 28 seconds and 42 seconds respectively, earning him the nickname “No Time” for the quick nature of his knockouts.
A matchup between Cormier and Oezdemir was being targeted for Jan. 20 at UFC 220 at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.