Just when you thought the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight division was cleaned out under the regime of Jon Jones — and to a lesser extent Daniel Cormier — Volkan Oezdemir went and upset the apple cart by coring Jimi Manuwa on the UFC 214 pay-per-view (PPV) main card last weekend in Anaheim.
Relive the violence here.
But instead of graduating to the head of the class, Oezdemir is content to increase his 205-pound stock at the expense of fellow European “king” Alexander Gustafsson, who believes he’s next in line for the opportunity to break “Bones.”
“Let's increase the value of the next title shot,” Oezdemir wrote on Instagram. “Alexander Gustafsson and I need to figure out who is the real king of Europe! Alex, I know how great you are and I respect you a lot, but I'm going to knock you out! Not because I want to, just because I have to!”
Giving Oezdemir “The Mauler” would clear the path for Jones to fight Brock Lesnar in a heavyweight super fight, something that started out as a silly fantasy but recently picked up steam in the wake of last Saturday night’s jettisoning of Cormier (watch it).
Assuming the head cheese doesn’t put up a stink.
No question the winner of Oezdemir vs. Gustafsson would be the true division No. 1 contender, but convincing “The Mauler” — who’s been patiently waiting for Jones for roughly three years — to take yet another fight in the interim could be a tough sell.