Thursday, November 10, 2022

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Volkan Oezdemir says Khamzat Chimaev ‘a big part’ of prep

LONDON – Coaching side-by-side with Khamzat Chimaev has Volkan Oezdemir feeling at his most ready for UFC Fight Night 208.

After struggling back-to-back, Oezdemir (17-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC) opted to find his coaching camp from his native Switzerland to Sweden for Saturday’s bout with Paul Craig (16-4-1 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) at The O2. He’s now a part of All-Stars Coaching Middle, which undefeated welterweight contender Chimaev makes use of as his dwelling base.

“It’s the place I’m residing now,” Oezdemir advised MMA Junkie. “It’s my full-time location and I’m able to be there. I totally moved in June. I did all my camp right here. I did a number of weeks back-and-forth earlier than that, however now it’s my full-time place.

“(Chimaev) was positively a part of the camp. Must work my takedown protection positively for Paul Craig. Clearly, Khamzat was a giant a part of it as nicely.”

Oezdemir started his UFC run on an absolute tear, however since unsuccessfully difficult then-champ Daniel Cormier for the sunshine heavyweight title in January 2018, the outcomes have been inconsistent. Oezdemir is 2-5 in his previous seven outs, albeit to a number of the high names out there within the division.

He’s not getting a lot of a step again in Craig, who’s at present driving a six-fight unbeaten streak. That’s precisely what Oezdemir prefers, although, as a result of he is aware of a win would catapult him a number of steps ahead.

“That’s what I would like,” Oezdemir stated. “My aim is to get the title and for this, I must smash everybody in entrance of me. I don’t have to decide on. I get the right take a look at and that’s how I get nearer to the belt.”

Oezdemir’s latest fights have primarily come in opposition to strikers. In Craig he will get an opponent who has the second-most submission wins in 205-pound historical past, and Oezdemir is aware of what he must do.

“He’s slightly bit sluggish,” Oezdemir stated. “He has dangerous protection. He will get hit rather a lot and he takes lots of punishment, however he by no means provides up. That’s the factor. He by no means provides up. He comes again late within the struggle.

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC Fight Night 208.

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