Volkan Oezdemir Pleads Not Guilty in Assault Case, Free to Fight at UFC 220

Volkan Oezdemir's pending trial on felony charges won't affect his fight at UFC 220 in Boston

On Tuesday, light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir pleaded not guilty to felony battery charges in Fla. and requested a trial with his next court appearance scheduled for Feb. 22.

While Oezdemir will still have to defend himself in a court of law at a later date, the pending charges won’t affect his ability to compete at UFC 220 where he’s fighting in the co-main event against light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

Oezdemir appeared arraignment proceedings in Fla. alongside his attorney where he entered the not guilty plea after he was charged with third degree felony battery with great bodily harm. The news was first reported by MMAFighting.

Oezdemir faces up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine if found guilty.

Following his initial arrest and release on $10,000 bond, Oezdemir surrendered his passport as he’s living in the United States after relocating from Switzerland but there are no travel restrictions on him going to Boston for his upcoming fight.

Oezdemir was arrested and charged after he allegedly knocked out a patron outside a bar back in Aug. with the victim claiming that the UFC fighter rendered him unconscious for several minutes before he was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Oezdemir via his attorney has denied those claims and stated that he was just defending himself during the altercation.

Oezdemir will battle Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight title after picking up three consecutive wins in 2017 including back-to-back knockouts against Jimi Manuwa and Misha Cirkunov.

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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.