Volkan Oezdemir’s rise through the light heavyweight rankings in 2017 was something to behold. Three fights against ranked opponents, three wins -- two via quick first round knockout! But then he ran into the buzzsaw known as Daniel Cormier and after that suffered two more losses. That brings us to UFC Uruguay, which many saw as Oezdemir’s last chance to prove there was still time left for “No Time” in the big leagues.
Fortunately for him, he managed to defeat the durable Ilir Latifi via knockout 4:31 into the second round of their bout (watch the finish here). It was a relief for Volkan because the win will finally afford him the opportunity to fix a nagging hand injury that he’s had since the time leading up to the “DC” fight.
”I need to take a little bit of time to check my hand, my hand has been bothering me a lot since before the Cormier fight,” he told reporters during a post fight media scrum. “But as you can see, I can still beat anyone with this problem. But it’s my fist, I cannot close it really well. It’s a real problem, I still have this bump here. It hurts me when I punch, in training, when I fight, all the time. So I’m trying to see a lot of specialist right now.”
As for how he injured his hand?
”It was the problem that I had with the law back in the day, the bar fight,” he said, referring to a dust-up that made headlines and almost cost him his title shot. “But I had a staph infection in my knuckle, the staph went really deep into my hand and it started bothering me a lot. So it’s a big problem that just kept following me, before the Cormier fight, all the training camp I wasn’t really able to use the right hand.”
”I went into the fight like this, I was a warrior, you can’t back down from a title fight, it’s the thing everyone wants to have. If you watch the Cormier fight I’m basically only punching with my left hand, just a few times with my right because it just hurting way too much.”
”It was a staph infection in the articulation, it ate the joints a little bit so I lost a lot of mobility in it, there’s a lot of scar tissue and stuff like that,” he continued. “I need to see a different doctor, everyone is telling me you need to operate, you don’t have to operate, maybe I need to find another guy, the right guy, so I can really take care of this because I cannot continue to train like that.”
Dana White needs to ship that man off to Germany for several rounds of stem cell miracle shots and all that other funky stuff they do over there. We’re kind of shocked Oezdemir has been struggling with such a serious issue for almost two years now. Losing the ability to punch with your right hand is pretty major, and we have to wonder how his last couple of fights would have went if he’d made the time to get the problem fixed rather than struggling through it.
It seems like “No Time” may be a little too true of a nickname for Volkan.