Oezdemir Pleads Not Guilty In Battery Case

When it was announced that Volkan Oezdemir would be Daniel Cormier’s opponent at UFC 220, many thought the top contender’s legal battle would get in the way. After Tuesday it seems that it won’t effect one of the top fights scheduled for the UFC’s return to Boston.

Oezdemir plead not guilty on a felony charge and demanded a trial by jury at an arraignment Tuesday in Broward County (Fla.) Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court. Following the hearing, Oezdemir’s attorney Bruce A. Zimet, confirmed to  MMA Fighting that his client’s next court date is scheduled for February 22nd.

Per state attorney spokesperson Kristi Grimm, there have been no stipulations made by the court regarding Oezdemir’s travel. Which indicates that he will be able to travel to Boston for his title fight against UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the co-main event of UFC 220.

Oezdemir, 28, is being charged with felony battery with great bodily harm, a third-degree felony, in relation to an incident that happened at a bar Fort Lauderdale in August of 2017. He was initially charged with a second-degree felony, aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability. The charges would later be bumped down when the state decided to pursue the charges in late December.

Felony battery causing great bodily harm in Florida carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail. Oezdemir, a Switzerland native, had to surrender his passport to the court temporarily. If convicted, Oezdemir would not only face jail time, but possible deportation.

The man accusing Oezdemir, claims the UFC star knocked him unconscious outside of “Capone’s
bar on August 12th ,2017. Cohen claims that he was unconscious for 14 minutes, was rushed to a hospital and had to be treated for concussion symptoms and lacerations.

Zimet said Oezdemir was “just defending himself” in the “bar room fight” and justified in his actions.

Oezdemir’s star is on the rise following a five-fight winning streak, including victories in his first three UFC fights last year. The Combat Club MMA fighter knocked out top light heavyweight contenders Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa inside of a minute to earn the title shot against Cormier.

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