Volkan Oezdemir knows all is not lost after falling short in his bid for the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title. The Swiss contender will try to get back on track when he faces Anthony Smith in the UFC Fight Night 138 headliner on Saturday at the Moncton Events Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick. Expect Oezdemir to fire on all cylinders.
As their showdown approaches, here are some of the numbers that have accompanied Oezdemir in his rise to prominence at 205 pounds:
5: Victories in as many professional kickboxing bouts. Oezdemir competed in Superkombat Fighting Championship, which was then the largest kickboxing promotion in Europe. Armed with a rich kickboxing and jiu-jitsu skills, he transitioned to mixed martial arts.
10: Straight wins to start his professional MMA career. Oezdemir went 9-0 before signing with Bellator MMA. He won his first fight there and then dropped his second, at which point he moved to another organization.
56: Seconds needed to impress in his first professional MMA fight. Oezdemir stopped Martin Vath with punches at Shooto Switzerland 7 on Sept. 4, 2010.
1: Minute used to reach the final of the World Kickboxing Network Valhalla “Battle of the Vikings” tournament. Oezdemir TKO’d Benyaich Mohamed in 15 seconds and then knocked out Angelier Benjamin in 45 seconds. He disposed of David Round inside the first round in the tournament final, drawing a call from Bellator.
12: First-round stoppages to his credit. Oezdemir has a knack for finishing fights early. He has proven destructive even against high-level opposition like Jimi Manuwa, a man he starched in 42 seconds. The win earned Oezdemir a “Performance of the Night” bonus at UFC 214.
82: Significant strikes landed in his UFC Fight Night 104 encounter with Ovince St. Preux on Feb. 4, 2017. St. Preux answered with 76. Oezdemir earned a split decision in his promotional debut.
11: Wins by KO or TKO on his resume. Oezdemir’s punching power has been on full display more than once since he joined the UFC roster. Apart from Manuwa, he also knocked out Misha Cirkunov inside Octagon. However, Oezdemir earned most of his knockout victories during the first half of his career.
1: Submission victory under his belt. While his fists are his main weapons, Oezdemir managed to tap Mamadou Cisse with a kimura in his third professional appearance.
2: Divisions in which he has fought. Oezdemir has competed as a light heavyweight and a heavyweight.
7: Countries in which he has competed. In addition to the United States and his native Switzerland, Oezdemir has also fought in France, Brazil, Denmark, Russia and Sweden.
2: Losses on his ledger, both of them by stoppage. Oezdemir submitted to a Kelly Anundson neck crank at Bellator 115 and succumbed to punches from Daniel Cormier at UFC 220.
29: Years of age. Oezdemir was born on Sept. 19, 1989 in Fribourg, Switzerland.