Volkan Oezdemir has been removed from the UFC Fight Night 134 main event, but has been shifted into a much bigger fight at UFC 227.
Oezdemir had been slated to meet Mauricio “Shogun” Rua first in at UFC Fight Night 129 in May in Chile, but due to visa issues, the bout was shifted to the UFC Fight Night 134 headliner on July 22 in Germany.
While that was a great move for Oezdemir, Alexander Gustafsson has been working on his return to the Octagon for the first time since defeating Glover Teixeira in May of 2017. The problem for Gustafsson of late has been the lack of worthy opponents considering his spot at the top of the light heavyweight rankings.
The only man ahead of Gustafsson is champion Daniel Cormier, who is slated to meet Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 226 this weekend. Gustafsson didn’t want to return to the cage just to simply take a fight, he wanted it to make sense. With Oezdemir ranked one spot behind him at No. 2, that fight makes sense. Thus, the UFC pulled Oezdemir from the UFC Fight Night 134 headliner and moved him to UFC 227, where he will fight Gustafsson on what is becoming a blockbuster fight card.
MMAWeekly.com’s Damon Martin confirmed the Gustafsson vs. Oezdemir fight for UFC 227 with sources with knowledge of the bout.
Gustafsson (18-4) has won his last two bouts against Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz, after failing to wrest the belt from Cormier, losing a split decision to the champion at UFC 192 in late 2015.
Oezdemir (15-2) is hoping a win over Gustafsson would catapult him back into a title fight, as he is coming off of a loss to Cormier in his last trip to the Octagon, which happened at UFC 220 in January of this year.
UFC officials are currently searching for a replacement to face Shogun at UFC Fight Night 134 on July 22 in Germany.
UFC 227 takes place on Aug. 4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and already features two title fights. The card is headlined by TJ Dillashaw putting his bantamweight belt on the line in an immediate rematch with Cody Garbrandt, while flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson faces Henry Cejudo, also a rematch, in the co-main event.