Oezdemir: I can't rely on judges at UFC Uruguay

By Peter Thompson 10 August 2019 23
Oezdemir: I can't rely on judges at UFC Uruguay

Volkan Oezdemir will be fuelled by the "anger" of his controversial defeat to Dominick Reyes when he faces Ilir Latifi at UFC Uruguay on Saturday.

Oezdemir was left fuming when Reyes was awarded a split decision in London almost five months ago.

Former Swiss light heavyweight title challenger Oezdemir has suffered three consecutive defeats after surging to the top of the division.

The 29-year-old plans to take his frustration out on Latifi at the Antel Arena in Montevideo in a fight that was postponed at the start of June after the Swede suffered a back injury.

Reflecting on his defeat to Reyes, Oezdemir told Omnisport: "It's something that has given me extra motivation, to go back to the win column.

"I need to prove to everybody that I am still here and that is a good thing for me, I am going to feed off that anger.

"Defeats show you what you need to work on. If you win and everything goes well, maybe you don't think there are things to improve on.  When you lose you want to speed up your improvement and I've worked on becoming a more complete fighter.

"My last defeat against Reyes made me realise I cannot rely on the judges. I might have taken the fight a little too cautiously as I knew I was winning. I got really upset when I heard the decision, I couldn't believe they saw the fight differently.

"It was a huge disappointment on the night, but I knew straight away I needed to look ahead to another fight and I was offered the Latifi fight that very same night in London, which gave me something to focus on."

Oezdemir feels Latifi's injury setback a couple of months ago could turn out to be a blessing.

He added: "It was a good thing as it gave me more time to get in even better shape and I feel in my body that I am. I knew I would have got the win but right now I'm sure I'm going to put on a better show.

"Before I was due to fight him the first time I worked on techniques and strategies. This time I could perfect that gameplan and make sure I have sharpened my tools."

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Peter Thompson