Volkan Oezdemir is scheduled to appear in Florida court a little more than a week before he challenges Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title at UFC 220.
According to court records, Oezdemir has an arraignment in Broward County Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court on Jan. 9 at 9 a.m. for a charge of felony battery causing great bodily harm, a second-degree felony. Oezdemir allegedly knocked a man unconscious outside a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., bar on Aug. 12. The charge was originally aggravated battery causing great bodily harm or disability, which was a second-degree felony.
On Jan. 20, 11 days after he is to appear in court, Oezdemir will square off against Cormier in the UFC 220 co-main event at TD Garden in Boston. The Switzerland native was initially arrested on Nov. 19 and posted a $10,000 bond.
The alleged victim, Kevin Cohen, said that he was struck by Oezdemir and knocked unconscious for 14 minutes. Cohen was then transported to a hospital for multiple lacerations and concussion symptoms. Cohen exited the bar to check on another friend, Sergio Sandoval, who had also been allegedly knocked unconscious. Cohen claims that Oezdemir hit him when he inquired about what happened to his friend. Bruce A. Zimet, Oezdemir’s attorney, stated at a hearing that the fighter was not the aggressor in the incident and was justified in his actions.
The 28-year-old was arguably the UFC’s biggest breakout star of 2017. After taking a split decision over Ovince St. Preux in his Octagon debut, “No Time” scored knockouts of Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in a combined 70 seconds to emerge as an unlikely championship contender.