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Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir slated for UFC 214

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Oezdemir vs Cirkunov
Volkan Oezdemir defeated Misha Cirkunov in 28 seconds this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 109.
Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Ask and you shall receive.

Just days after Volkan Oezdemir called out top UFC light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 109’s post-fight press conference, a matchup between the two streaking 205-pounders has been made official for July 29 at UFC 214. The UFC announced the booking Wednesday morning.

Oezdemir (14-1) publicly asked for the Manuwa fight in the aftermath of his stunning 28-second knockout victory over Misha Cirkunov this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 109. The win over Cirkunov propelled Oezdemir’s young Octagon record to 2-0, aided by an equally big split-decision upset Oezdemir earned over Ovince Saint Preux in the Switzerland native’s UFC debut.

Such noteworthy back-to-back performances put Oezdemir in an unexpected position to contend almost immediately in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, and the 27-year-old responded by making his desire for Manuwa known at Sunday’s post-fight press conference.

“Because he’s a striker, and now that [Anthony Johnson] is retired, I guess he’s the man in striking,” Oezdemir said of the Englishman. “I’m a striker. I want to be the man too, so we need to settle that.”

Manuwa (17-2), meanwhile, rides the momentum of back-to-back bonus-winning knockouts over Saint Preux and Corey Anderson into the bout. The 37-year-old slugger was briefly in the running to challenge UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier prior to the announcement of Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2. Instead, Manuwa is expected to be used as a Plan B of sorts for UFC 214, serving as an available replacement in the event that Jones fails to make it to fight night.

Manuwa is 6-2 overall in his UFC career, having only fallen short to Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson.

UFC 214 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The rematch between Cormier and Jones headlines the event’s main card, which will air live on pay-per-view.

An updated UFC 214 fight card can be seen below.

  • Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones
  • Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir
  • Ricardo Lamas vs. Chan Sung Jung
  • Dooho Choi vs. Andre Fili
  • Aljamain Sterling vs. Renan Barao
  • Brian Ortega vs. Renato Moicano
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Claudio Puelles
  • Alexandra Albu vs. Kailin Curran
  • Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorkowski
  • Jarred Brooks vs. Eric Shelton


Who wins it?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Jimi Manuwa
    (431 votes)
  • 35%
    Volkan Oezdemir
    (242 votes)
673 votes total Vote Now