Oezdemir Defends Jones Following Arrest

Over the past few months, it has been hard to find a fighter willing to be in Jon Jones’ corner following his most recent arrest. Despite Jones’ past history, Volkan Oezdemir is ready to move on.

The 30-year-old light heavyweight believes that the UFC will not force any additional punishment to Jones that hasn’t already been given to him. Jones (26-1, 1NC) was arrested last month for aggravated DWI, negligent use of a weapon and possession of an open container. The police found a half-drunken bottle, traces of marijuana and a gun in his car. Jones pled guilty and agreed to complete community service, as well as pay hefty fines.

Oezdemir told MMA Junkie that despite the recent bad press, as well as the coronavirus situation, Jones will still get a chance to defend his title.

“Every time there’s something coming up, and some people hit me up and send me links and stuff like that, and they’re like, ‘Oh, once again.’ But who cares?” Oezdemir stated. “For me, if he’s able to compete, everything is good with him, then it’s fine. I don’t want to be the one pointing the finger at … I don’t want to be talking about somebody like that in their down moment. But, yeah, I think he’s gonna be competing.”

Born in Switzerland, Oezdemir is a former kickboxer. Competing for WKN Valhalla and Bellator, he made his UFC debut in 2017. 5-3 with the promotion, Oezdemir has fought for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title once; facing Daniel Cormier at UFC 220, he lost via TKO. Oezdemir is currently on a two-fight winning streak and is ranked sixth in the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings.

Oezdemir’s tone is different compared to his light heavyweight counterparts. Johnny Walker and Thiago Santos believe that Jones should be stripped of the belt, while Glover Teixeira has recommended a year-long suspension for Jones. When it comes to that, Oezdemir believes Jones’ talent should not be punished.

“Some people were talking about stripping him of the title, but I think this has nothing to do with it, and I think of course he deserves the title, because he’s the legitimate champion and obviously being the champion, he has to defend it. So hopefully we will see him fight again this year,” Oezdemir went on to say.

This is only if, of course, Jones does not adhere to his sentence, or if the UFC decides to step in as well.

“There were some talks about Thiago Santos and Reyes doing some interim title,” Oezdemir said. “It could be nice to give the division a new situation, but that’s only if Jones is away for some time or unwilling to fight, waiting for bigger fights. You never know.”

Oezdemir has been tied to Jiri Prochazka for a fight on Dana White’s “Fight Island” after the original location was rumored for an event in Dublin.

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