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Charges dropped against Volkan Oezdemir in felony battery case

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Volkan Oezdemir can now focus fully on the giant fight he has next month.

The UFC light heavyweight contender had charges against him dismissed Monday in his felony battery case in Broward County (Fla.) court, his lawyer Bruce Zimet told MMA Fighting in a statement.

The information was confirmed by spokesperson Kristi Grimm from the state attorney’s office. The case has been ruled nolle prosequi, which means the prosecution will no longer pursue the charge. Grimm said the charges were dropped “due to lack of cooperation from the victim.”

Oezdemir’s trial was set to start Monday for the third-degree felony charge. He was being accused of striking and knocking out a man outside a Fort Lauderdale bar in August 2017. The Switzerland native, who trains out of Combat Club in Lantana, Fla., was arrested in November.

When Oezdemir was first charged, he had to surrender his passport. It ended up likely costing him two potential bouts against Mauricio Rua. A fight against “Shogun” was postponed after being initially announced for Chile in May. Then, last week, Oezdemir was pulled from a fight with Rua in Germany later this month.

The good news is Oezdemir has what could be a title eliminator coming his way instead. He’ll fight Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. The winner will have an inside track on a light heavyweight belt currently in flux with champion Daniel Cormier winning the heavyweight title over the weekend.

Oezdemir, 28, last fought in a title fight against Cormier at UFC 220 back in January, a second-round TKO loss. Before that, he won three straight to begin his UFC career quickly. Oezdemir (15-2) finished both Jimi Manuwa and Misha Cirkunov last year in less than a minute to earn the title shot.

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