On November 18th, number-two ranked UFC light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir was arrested by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. The 15-1 fighter was charged with aggravated battery and detained at the Broward County jail. MMAjunkie were first to report the news.
Oezdemir has since posted a $10,000 bond and been released from jail. Some information pertaining to the arrest was available on a Broward County Sheriff’s Office online database, but that was removed as soon as Oezdemir ceased to be an inmate.
The original charge listed on that database was ‘aggravated assault - causing bodily harm or disability’.
After news broke, the UFC provided a statement to Bloody Elbow about Oezdemir’s arrest. The promotion stated:
“UFC is aware of the situation involving light heavyweight athlete, Volkan Oezdemir. The organization is in the process of gathering more information and will be monitoring the situation closely before determining if any further action is necessary.”
Since then, Oezdemir’s manager Frederic Englund - through a statement made to MMAjunkie - has given a few more details about what lead to his client’s arrest.
Englund told MMAjunkie that Oezdemir was involved in a ‘bar room altercation’ in August, in which he was ‘not the aggressor’. Englund’s full statement to MMAjunkie is presented below:
“Volkan Oezdemir appeared in a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida courtroom Sunday morning in response to allegations from an incident in a Ft. Lauderdale bar on August 12, 2017. Mr. Oezdemir was accompanied by his attorney Bruce A. Zimet. Following a brief hearing (before) a Broward County Circuit judge, Mr. Oezdemir was granted a $10,000 bond during the pendency of his case. Mr. Zimet, a former federal prosecutor, described the incident that formed the basis of the case as nothing more than a bar room altercation in which Mr. Oezdemir, who was not the aggressor, was totally justified in all of his actions pursuant to Florida law.
“Mr. Oezdemir expressed his faith in the America judicial system and looks forward to all of the facts involved in the August 12, 2017 incident being made public. Mr. Oezdemir has full confidence that when the full picture is presented that he will be totally vindicated.”
Oezdemir entered the UFC earlier this year and has since gone 3-0 in the promotion. His first fight was a narrow decision victory over Ovince Saint Preux. His second was a sub-30 second knockout of Misha Cirkunov. His third fight was another sub-30 second knockout, this time against Jimi Manuwa.
The run of victories boosted Oezdemir up to second in the UFC 205lb rankings. In September UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier announced that Oezdemir would be the next person to challenge him for his belt. That fight was rumoured to have been planned for January’s UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts.
It is unknown whether Oezdemir’s arrest will change whether or not he will fight Daniel Cormier in the near future. Aggravated battery is a second degree felony in Florida, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Oezdemir is presumed innocent of all charges until proved guilty.