Volkan Oezdemir is going back to his roots in preparation for Dominick Reyes at UFC on ESPN+ 5 on March 16.
The 29-year-old is training back home at his old gym in Switzerland and it’s not by choice. Legally, the Hard Knocks 365 member can’t enter back into the United States until his visa issues are sorted out.
“I decided to go back to do my camp back [home]” Oezedemir told MMA News. “Waiting for my return to the U.S., it’s just going to be a while waiting on my visa right now. I’m back to my roots right now, I’m training at the same gym I’ve been doing most of my fights with. It’s kind of an old school vibe around me and it’s really cool.”
Oezdemir (15-3) fought his first nine career fights in Europe before he made his North American debut for Bellator MMA in Oct. 2013. While he doesn’t have a timetable for when he can return to the U.S., he’s optimistic this process will not impact his UFC career.
“I just got last contact with my lawyer today, but they told me they need to ask somebody else the question. It’s a long process you know? Hopefully after my fight maybe a few weeks here I can do some PR, press and media. Then I can go back to the U.S. It’s more probably difficult then it was before for us. It’s just a matter of time and of course you always want to come back ASAP. But then sometimes you just have to wait and let this clear out. There are a bunch of fight cards around the world where the UFC has events.”
The former UFC title challenger has a stiff test against undefeated light heavyweight Dominick Reyes. Despite heading into this matchup off back-to-back losses, the Swiss fighter feels he has advantages everywhere in the fight.
“I [match up] really well and it’s a great matchup for the fans. We both come to strike, it’s going to be a really exciting fight. People have to go and watch. It’s definitely going to be a great fight for me, because he has nothing to go against me. I have all the weapons and everything under control.”
Reyes (10-0) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Ovince St-Preux at UFC 229, which pushed his UFC record to 4-0. The 29-year-old has only gone the distance twice in his career. However it’s experience that Oezdemir believes will be another key factor in the matchup.
“I’ve slowly become a veteran in the game so that’s kind of funny to me. Now that I’m facing a [prospect] that was my position before. It’s really good but you saw what I did with pretty much no experience. It’s all about your mindset. You have to go in there strong. That’s why I always go there and aim for the knockout. It’s going to be a great matchup for me, a one sided match. Dominck doesn’t have anything that can scare me.”
UFC on ESPN+ 5 takes place at O2 Arena on March 16 and is headlined by Darren Till facing off against Jorge Masvidal in a welterweight matchup.