MustLoveMMA.com’s Susan Cingari reports for Cage & Screen on the ongoing legal troubles of MMA fighter Volkan Oezdemir.
Every Fighter Has A Story.
UFC light heavyweight title contender Volkan Oezdemir appeared in Broward County’s Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court and was arraigned today. He is due back in court on Feb 22, 2018.
Oezdemir pleaded not guilty to a charge of battery causing great bodily harm, a third-degree felony. Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), a 28-year-old Switzerland native, has been training for his upcoming title challenge against Daniel Cormier at UFC 220 with Combat Club in Lantana, Fl.
The charge stems from an altercation outside Capone’s bar in Fort Lauderdale, Fl, that occurred Aug. 12, 2017. Oezdemir was arrested Nov. 18, 2017, initially on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated battery causing serious bodily harm or disability.
According to court records, the alleged victim left the bar after hearing a friend had been knocked unconscious following a verbal altercation. When he asked what had happened, he said he “looked up and was hit in the face” by what the state prosecutor described as a “sucker punch.”
The alleged victim claims he lost consciousness for approximately 14 minutes, was treated at a local hospital for concussion symptoms, and received multiple staples for lacerations. Witnesses at the scene told the alleged victim it was Oezdemir who hit him. A second report, claiming Oezdemir struck another man, was designated inactive when he refused to cooperate with police.
In a hearing Nov. 19, Oezdemir’s attorney, Bruce A. Zimet, a former federal prosecutor, described the scene as a “bar room altercation” in which his client was not the aggressor and acted justifiably pursuant to Florida law. Oezdemir has claimed the incident was prompted when somebody approached his fiancee at the bar while he was in the restroom.
Oezdemir pleaded not guilty to the second-degree felony charges on Nov. 29 and was released on a $10,000 bond. Florida state attorney Michael J. Satz filed the new charges Dec. 15. A no-bond arrest warrant was issued the same day, to come into effect if Oezdemir failed to appear in court today (Jan. 9). That warrant was subsequently vacated.
Felony battery causing great bodily harm in Florida carries a maximum sentence of 5 years incarceration. The original charge of aggravated battery carried a potential prison sentence of 15 years.
Oezdemir remains optimistic about the future. “I have a really good team around me,” he told The MMA Hour. “Believe me, everything is going to be all right…. I don’t really know about all the details, how it’s gonna happen. But definitely I’m gonna fight and I’m gonna be champion.”
Meanwhile title holder Daniel Cormier isn’t getting drawn into debate about his opponent’s legal worries. “I really don’t have any energy anymore for all these guys’ extracurriculars anymore…. I feel like I have lost years of my life dealing with the sh-t with [Jon] Jones, in terms of the arguments, the fighting, the worry, whether we’re going to fight, when we’re going to fight…. I’ve lost a lot of time and energy just wasted on things that were out of my control.”
UFC 220 airs on Pay-Per-View Saturday 01.20.2018 at 10:00 PM ET, with prelims live on Fox Sports 1. In the headline fight, champion Stipe Miocic looks to make history as the UFC’s most successful heavyweight when he faces challenger Francis N’Gannou. Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir, a light heavyweight title bout, is the co-main event.
MustLoveMMA.com’s Susan Cingari was honored to be named PG Sports‘ MMA Sports Journalist Reporter of the Year. Susan was named alongside athletes and influencers from a variety of fields, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and MMA’s Conor McGregor and Lynch on Sports.
2017 was a dramatic year for MMA, and MustLoveMMA and Susan Cingari were there for every step. From the May/Mac superfight to GSP’s return, and a host of new title holders — the UFC saw Tony Ferguson take the interim lightweight belt, Max Holloway win the featherweight title, TJ Dillashaw reclaim his bantamweight belt from old rival Cody Garbrandt, Cris Cyborg took her place at the head of the women’s featherweight division, Nicco Montano was crowned women’s inaugural flyweight champ, and Rose Namajunas took the UFC strawweight belt. And of course GSP defeated Michael Bisping to take the middleweight belt, only to vacate the title. Interim titleholder Robert Whittaker was promoted to undisputed champion on Dec 7.
Bellator MMA also welcomed a host of new champions — Ryan Bader as light heavyweight, Brent Primus won the lightweight title, Patricio Freire took the featherweight belt, Darrion Caldwell won the bantamweight crown, Julia Budd became women’s featherweight champ, and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane claimed the women’s flyweight title.
Susan and the MustLoveMMA.com team are excited to see what happens in 2018, and can’t wait to bring you all the breaking news through weekly episodes of The Cage & Screen Report! Every Fighter Has A Story!
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – 2 of three teens who have been officially charged with first-degree murder and home invasion robbery with a firearm in the tragic shooting death of rising MMA star Aaron Rajman were back in Palm Beach County Court today.
The accused teensagers showed no emotion as they entered the courtroom wearing the traditional orange and blue jumpsuits handcuffed and shackled.
Tensions ran high at one point as Sheriff’s office deputies had to break up a brief scuffle between family members for the suspects and the victim.
Also in court today, the mother of 16 year old Summer Church, Judith Church who had harsh words for local news outlet WPTV, storming away when asked for a comment by the station’s local reporter insisting “The media does not tell the whole story or the truth”.
On July 3, 2017 a group of men entered Rajman’s home in the 22700 block of Southwest 65th Terrace, Boca Raton, about 10:24 p.m. An argument ensued, and Rajman was fatally shot.
“This was no random act of violence,” Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said “Mr. Rajman was targeted by these defendants, and we intend to seek justice for the victim and his family.”
Rajman was a well-known figure in the local Jewish community and was the only Orthodox mma fighter competing in the sport of MixedMartialArts. He trained at the prestigious American Top Team in South Florida.
Judge Burton set a status check for the case for January 22, 2018 and the 3 teens are expected to be back in court on that day. MustLoveMMA.com will continue to follow the story as events unfold.
UFC FIGHT PASS® KICKS OFF SUMMER SEASON WITH 24/7 LIVE STREAM & DANA WHITE’S TUESDAY NIGHT CONTENDER SERIES
JULY AND AUGUST WILL FEATURE MORE THAN 100 HOURS OF LIVE PROGRAMMING
Las Vegas, Nevada – UFC FIGHT PASS® announced last week that the world’s greatest digital destination for combat sports has added a linear streaming channel. FIGHT PASS 24/7 will be the go-to for live events, the premiere of Originals and curated content, and is now available as a complement to FIGHT PASS’s traditional video-on-demand (VOD) functionality.
“Our subscribers asked for more live fights, and this summer FIGHT PASS will bring them more than 100 hours of live and exclusive action – including the launch of the FIGHT PASS 24/7 stream and the brand new Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” said Joe Carr, UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content.
FIGHT PASS currently offers subscribers VOD access to 16,000+ fights from more than 35 MMA, grappling and kickboxing organizations, along with UFC’s archive of television shows including The Ultimate Fighter.
FIGHT PASS 24/7’s additional summer offerings include the UFC’s annual Hall of Fame event, UFC Fight Night Rotterdam, two GLORY Kickboxing events, two Invicta FC events, EBI 12: The Female Flyweights and the debut of Polaris, FIGHT PASS’s second world-class jiu-jitsu promotion.
Fans can view the upcoming programming schedule for the next five days and replay anything shown within the last 24 hours through a new VOD feature.
UFC FIGHT PASS is also augmenting its live-action offering. July 11 sees the highly anticipated debut of the exclusive, weekly Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS). Focused on finding the next generation of UFC talent, DWTNCS will give competitors the biggest stage of their lives as they attempt to show they have what it takes to make it onto the UFC roster.
For more details on FIGHT PASS’s schedule visit: https://www.ufc.tv/category/fightpass-live-events
Two major UFC events still remain in July starting with UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Shevchenko on Saturday, July 23 and UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley one week later on Saturday, July 30.
Holly (“The Preachers Daughter“) Holm, is the No. 2 UFC bantamweight contender. She is a professional boxer and kickboxer and is the first person to win championships in both boxing and martial arts. She is highly regarded as one of the best female fighters in the world. The 5’8″ southpaw quickly rose to fame after capturing the division’s title from Ronda Rousey in 2015, however Holm lost the belt to Miesha Tate in her first ever career loss.
Russian born Valentina Shevchenko, nicknamed, “The Bullet”, began training at the age of five. Shevchenko is a decorated Muay Thai Fighter and kickboxer. A fierce competitor she has won many titles such as the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur World Championships and World Muaythai Council and is known for her precision, calculated striking and clinch work. Shevchenko most recently fought Amanda Nunes on March 5, 2016 at UFC 196 but lost the fight by unanimous decision. No stranger to competition Shevchenko has a 56-2 professional record Muay Thai/K-1 and has defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Caley Reece. Look for this fight to be a chance to see some spectacular stand-up by both of the ladies.
San Diego native, Robbie Lawler is a professional mixed martial artist and the current UFC Welterweight Champion. He has been competing since 2001. He is best known for his 2015 title defense against Rory MacDonald, a match some refer to as one of the greatest world title fights of all time. He is a fan favorite and is know to leave it all in the Octagon. This fight marks his third title defense.
Tyron Woodley, nicknamed “The Chosen One”, fought in his first professional Strikeforce fight in 2009 and is currently #3 in official UFC welterweight rankings. Woodley has a strong wrestling background and is a NCAA Division I All-American as well as team captain of the University of Missouri wrestling team He also won the Big 10 title in 2003. Woodley hasn’t fought since UFC 183 in January 2015 so ring rust could be an issue. The two fighters both fight out of the American Top Team banner and are friends but will put their friendship aside to see who is the best welterweight is. Look for Lawler to use his experience and grit to grind out the win.
The four fighters had this to say on the UFC media conference call when they were asked about their upcoming fights.
Holly Holm: ” Valentina is definitely a seasoned athlete.” I do know it is just one fight at a time. I’m definitely thirsty right now, I want victory”
Valentina Shevchenko: “My focus is the fight.” and “This is my life, this is what I want to be. My destiny was to be a martial artist.”
Robbie Lawler: “I’m sick of the Fight of the Night. “I am a mean fighter. I just want to take people out and I just want to win!”
Tyron Woodley: “The difference between me then, and me now is that I’m putting everything together and I’m ready to take off! I’m just a mean fighter who is looking to finish people and do what I do.”
Watch Lawler vs. Woodley on July 30th LIVE on Pay Per View HERE