5 Things You Should Know About UFC Light Heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC / Contributor (Getty Images)

Volkan Oezdemir has regrouped following a failed bid to reach the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight mountaintop.

Booked for his first appearance since his technical knockout defeat to 205-pound champion Daniel Cormier in January, the Swiss standout will collide with Anthony Smith in the UFC Fight Night 138 main event on Saturday at the Moncton Events Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick. The loss to Cormier snapped a five-fight winning streak for Oezdemir, who operates out of the Henri Hooft-helmed Hard Knocks 365 camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 29-year-old enters the match as a slight favorite.

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As Oezdemir’s showdown with Smith approaches, here are five things you should know about him:

1. He does not waste time.

Oezdemir has finished five different opponents in less than a minute: Benyaich Mohamed (0:15), Misha Cirkunov (0:28), Jimi Manuwa (0:42), Angelier Benjamin (0:45) and Martin Vath (0:56).

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

2. The frequent-flier miles have piled up for him.

Oezdemir has competed in seven countries as a professional mixed martial artist. They are the United States, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Denmark, Brazil, and France. Canada will become the eighth.

3. He burst on the scene as an unknown commodity.

Though he was 12-1 at the time, Oezdemir made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut to little fanfare at UFC Fight Night 104 on Feb. 4, 2017. He eked out a split decision over former University of Tennessee linebacker Ovince St. Preux before moving on to deliver quick-strike knockouts against Cirkunov and Manuwa. Oezdemir was named Sherdog.com’s 2017 “Breakthrough Fighter of the Year.”

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4. His combat sports experience extends beyond the cage.

In addition to his exploits as a mixed martial artist, Oezdemir has dabbled in kickboxing. He owns a perfect 5-0 record as a professional kickboxer.

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

5. His beginnings were humble.

Oezdemir was born in Fribourg, a city of roughly 39,000 people in western Switzerland. It is home to the famed Cathedral of St. Nicholas, a Roman Catholic church that was completed in 1490. Its tower rises nearly 250 feet in the air and houses 11 bells. The church is renowned for its stained-glass windows, which were designed by Polish artist Jozef Mehoffer.

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