Daniel Cormier - Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Daniel Cormier Batters Volkan Oezdemir by TKO to Retain Title in UFC 220 Co-Main Event

Daniel Cormier put on another dominant performance to take out Volkan Oezdemir on Saturday night.

Daniel Cormier said he had to make a statement in his fight against Volkan Oezdmir at UFC 220 on Saturday night.

He can consider that mission accomplished after Cormier absolutely mauled Oezdemir from the end of the first round until getting a TKO in the second to retain his light heavyweight championship.

Cormier admitted going into the fight that there was a lot of pressure on his shoulders following what unfolded with Jon Jones last year when he suffered a knockout that was later overturned when the embattled former champion tested positive for steroids. Still, Cormier couldn’t take any solace in the loss being overturned and he felt like he had to make an example out of Oezdemir to prove he was still worthy of wearing UFC gold.

Oezdemir showed no fear in the early going as he came after the champion immediately with a series of stinging left hands that tagged Cormier and backed him up. As time ticked away, Cormier found his rhythm in the opening round as he began turning the tables to push Oezdemir backwards.

Oezdemir’s pace slowed dramatically past the midway point in the round and Cormier began stalking forward, showing no fear of his opponent’s punching power.

With just about a minute to go, Cormier blasted Oezdemir with a huge right hand followed by an overhand left that landed flush on Oezdemir, who was definitely showing the wear and tear from those brutal punches.

Cormier landed his first takedown late in the opening round before immediately transitioning into the rear naked choke and it appeared he might get the finish but the horn sounded just seconds later. As Oezdemir walked to the corner, his right eye was already showing the ill effects of the punches he ate as he coaches tried to calm him down before sending him back out to the second round.

Cormier wasted no time latching onto a single leg takedown just seconds later, moving from mount into side control as he began battering Oezdemir from the crucifix position.

As the punches and elbows came pouring in, Oezdemir was lost and seemingly had no way to get free of the position. Cormier had no plans to stop the barrage of shots until the referee had no choice but to stop the fight to keep Oezdemir from taking anymore undue punishment.

The end came at 2:00 into the second round as Cormier retained his UFC light heavyweight title by TKO.

Cormier addressed the Jones situation in his post fight speech while admitting that he does feel vindicated now with the win over Oezdemir as he is once again the UFC light heavyweight champion.

“It feels good to get back in here and get a victory. I’ve lost twice to Jon Jones and I said as I came into this fight I said, I felt like I was fighting for a vacant title again because he beat me last time,” Cormier said after his win.

“I fought for a vacant title and I got the job done so I’m the UFC champion again.”

Now Cormier begins the waiting game to see what comes next for him with Jones still on provisional suspension awaiting word on his doping infraction with USADA. Top contender Alexander Gustafsson is also on the sidelines after just recently having surgery so it’s entirely possible Cormier may be forced to sit out for the bulk of 2018 while waiting for the UFC to find him a worthy opponent.

Either way, Cormier will be waiting with the UFC light heavyweight title securely wrapped around his waist.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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