Volkan Oezdemir wants Jimi Manuwa next following 28-second knockout win

BY Damon Martin • May 28, 2017

Volkan Oezdemir is quickly making his way up the rankings in the light heavyweight division and after his stunning knockout on Sunday he already has another name in mind for his next fight.

Despite already being ranked in the top five at 205-pounds following his win over Ovince Saint Preux in his debut, Oezdemir came into his fight against Misha Cirkunov as a decided underdog.

Oezdemir needed less than 30 seconds to lay waste to those odds with a one-punch knockout to finish Cirkunov and now he's looking at another well-known power puncher for his next opponent.

"There is so much high name, big name, but I also want to test my striking skills. Maybe that could be Jimi Manuwa," Oezdemir said following the win.

UFC president Dana White has already said he wants to plan on having Manuwa compete on the upcoming July 29 card headlined by Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones as a backup plan in case either of the main event fighters drops off the card at the last minute.

Manuwa is fresh off a brutal knockout over Corey Anderson in his last fight, which marked his fifth finish in six wins in the UFC.

Oezdemir said it's a "possibility" that he could be ready to go again as early as UFC 214 in July because he wants to stay very active on his way towards title contention in the light heavyweight division.

More importantly, Oezdemir just wants to make sure he has time to train because he made his first appearance in the UFC on two weeks notice but still managed to take out a former title contender in Saint Preux.

With a 28-second knockout now on his record with this second fight, Oezdemir knows if he has time to prepare, there's no one at light heavyweight that he can't topple.

"I've been working on my game now," Oezdemir said. "I had a full camp now, 12 weeks of training, last time was two weeks notice fight. So it was a short time to be ready for such a big opponent such as [Ovince Saint-Preux]. Misha was also top ranked but now with a full camp behind me I can do whatever I want. I feel so strong."

Manuwa was in attendance on Sunday in Stockholm, Sweden so he saw first hand what Oezdemir did in his fight. Now it's just up to the UFC to pull the trigger to put together a fight between two of the best fighters in the world at 205 pounds with a potential date open in July.

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