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UFC book Cormier title defence despite opponent's impending felony charge

Daniel Cormier is set to face Volkan Oezdemir at the TD Garden in Boston on Saturday, 20 January.

UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Image: Tommy Lakes/The42

DANIEL CORMIER IS set to put his UFC light-heavyweight title on the line on 20 January.

Cormier (19-1) will take on Volkan Oezdemir (15-1) at the TD Garden in Boston in what’s likely to be the headline bout at UFC 220.

The announcement comes in spite of Oezdemir’s impending felony charge. The Swiss fighter was arrested earlier this month in Florida in relation to an incident that took place in August.

MMAFighting.com reported that Oezdemir is alleged to have assaulted a man outside a bar in Fort Lauderdale. He was released from custody after paying a $10,000 bond but the 28-year-old could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

“The organisation is in the process of gathering more information and will be monitoring the situation closely before determining if any further action is necessary,” UFC spokeswoman Lenee Breckenridge told the South Florida Sun Sentinel last week.

Oezdemir has been fighting professionally since 2010 but he only made his UFC debut in February. After starting his time with the organisation with a split-decision victory over Ovince Saint-Preux, he recorded first-round KO wins against both Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa.

Cormier lost the UFC light-heavyweight title to Jon Jones in July. However, the 38-year-old American was later reinstated as champion when Jones tested positive for a banned substance.

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