Volkan Oezdemir is back in the winning column after snapping a three-fight losing streak by knocking out the powerful Ilir Latifi on Saturday’s main card in Montevideo.
“No Time” only needed two rounds to dispatch his opponent on the weekend which puts the No. 7 ranked light heavyweight back into the title picture after successive losses to the champion Daniel Cormier, Anthony Smith and his controversial split decision loss to Dominick Reyes.
The 29-year-old said that he’s been struggling to deal with a niggling injury to his right hand over the past year and a half which he suffered as a result from a bar fight.
That bar fight he refers to is said to be from an incident back in August 2017 where he allegedly knocked a man unconscious outside a bar in Fort Lauderdale. The former title challenger was charged with third-degree felony battery following his arrest in November 2017 although the charges were subsequently dropped in July 2018.
Oezdemir told reporters that the injury has bothered him since his fight against the champion Cormier and that it’s affected him all through training in his last few fights:
“My fist, I cannot close it really well,” Oezdemir told reporters after UFC Uruguay (via MMA Fighting). “It’s a real problem. I still have this bump here. It hurts me when I punch in training or when I fight all the time. I’m trying to see some specialists right now. ... I’m gonna check everything, maybe go to surgery quickly for the hand if I need to.”
The Swiss fighter said he was unable to use the injured hand much in his fight against Cormier but didn’t want to pull out of the bout given it was for the belt:
“[The staph] ate the joints a little bit,” he said. “I lost a lot of mobility into it. There’s a lot of scar tissue.”
Oezdemir said enough is enough in terms of the injury and he will be getting it properly assessed to ensure it is repaired before his next bout:
“I need to do the right move, because I want to grab the belt next,” Oezdemir said. ... “I cannot continue to train like that.”