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Volkan Oezdemir Booked Against Nikita Krylov on UFC 280 in October


Add one more chip to the overstacked pile that is the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return trip to “Fight Island” in October.

The organization released on Friday news of the light heavyweight booking between Volkan Oezdemir (18-6) and Nikita Krylov (28-9), which will be set for UFC 280 on Oct. 22. This event will be held at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. They were initially supposed to throw down in this locale two years ago, but Oezdemir suffered a knee injury. This will be a relatively quick turnaround for both men, as they each pulled off wins at UFC Fight Night 208 in London at the end of July.

Oezdemir put an end to a two-fight skid by handling Paul Craig across their three-round engagement. “No Time” had Craig hurt in multiple exchanges, and never fully engaged in the ground game that Craig excels greatly. Prior to that, the Swiss 205er had suffered a knockout to future champ Jiri Prochazka and then dropped a decision to Magomed Ankalaev. As a pro, Oezdemir celebrates a finish rate of 72%, but he has recorded nine knockouts in two minutes or less throughout his career.

“The Miner” Krylov dwarfs Oezdemir’s stoppage rate, going the distance just one time across 28 career wins (96%). That lone decision came over Johnny Walker in 2020, and is bookended by a submission over Ovince St. Preux in their rematch, and a recent knockout of Alexander Gustafsson in his last time out. The Ukrainian holds seven knockouts in less than 120 seconds, but has also hit nine submissions in that amount of time or less.

UFC 280 will go down at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Oct. 22. A pair of championship bouts will serve as the main attraction, with the headliner a vacant lightweight title tilt between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. The co-main will have Aljamain Sterling defend his 135-pound throne against ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw. It is unclear if Oezdemir-Krylov will be placed on the main card given the disproportionately high number of ranked pairings on the card.
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