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Daniel Cormier declares Volkan Oezdemir as next UFC title challenger

Daniel Cormier announces Volkan Oezdemir as his first challenger as reinstated UFC light heavyweight champion.

UFC 200 - Weigh-in Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jon Jones’ recent drug test debacle has once again led to the stripping of the UFC light heavyweight from him. Subsequently, it was given back to Daniel Cormier, the last one to hold the belt before Jones won it via third-round knockout at UFC 214 last July.

Since his reinstatement as champion, Cormier had no concrete plans about whom he intends to face next, so instead, he let fans decide via social media. In a recent tweet he posted, “DC” revealed that the verdict went to rising 205-pound star Volkan Oezdemir.

The 28-year-old Oezdimir (15-1, 3-0 UFC), made his debut in February, where he won against Ovince Saint Preux via split decision. His stock value was dramatically boosted when he scored a first-round knockout win against Jimi Manuwa in the undercard of Jones and Cormier’s fight. He also bagged Performance of the Night honors that merited a $50,000 bonus.

Despite Cormier’s declaration, many are also arguing that number one-ranked light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson is the more deserving challenger. The two fighters already faced each other at UFC 192 in 2015, where Cormier won via split decision.