Volkan Oezdemir and Anthony Smith are moving on from Alexander Gustafsson and will now find one another in the middle of the Octagon in Canada at UFC Moncton. The UFC announced the bout today via social media.
Both Oezdemir and Smith were hoping to face Gustafsson at UFC 227, when Oezdemir was forced to pull out of the bout due to injury. The race was then on to find a replacement for the Swede at the event, which culminated with Anthony Smith putting his name in the hat after knocking out Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the first round of the main event of UFC Fight Night 134. But as misfortune would have it, it would then be announced within minutes of Anthony Smith’s victory over Rua that Gustafsson would be unable to compete at the event. The nature of Gus’s injury has yet to be disclosed.
Now, though, Oezdemir and Smith will have the opportunity to headline. Ironically, it was Oezdemir who was originally booked to face Rua at UFC Hamburg, which gave Smith the opportunity to interject in the light heavyweight conversation in the first place. Now, the musical chairs of the light heavyweight division has stopped at Oezemir vs. Smith for UFC Moncton this fall.
The last time we saw Volkan Oezdemir in the Octagon he was competing for the light heavyweight championship against Daniel Cormier. Oezdemir would lose the bout via second round TKO and has sense pulled out of two fights due to injury. Oezdemir, and MMA fans, will approach this October date with fingers crossed in hopes there isn’t a trifecta. As for Smith, it wasn’t a long time since the Lionheart competed in the Octagon. In fact, it was less than two weeks ago. Taking a page out of his future opponent’s book, Smith has made it clear that he has “no time” to sit around waiting for the light heavyweight picture to unfold, but was eager to return to action at UFC 227, only two weeks after his victory over Shogun, but now has opted to put his haste to action by promptly accepting his next name and date: Volkan Oezdemir, UFC Moncton, October 27th.
What do you think of this light heavyweight scrap? Who gets the knockout…I mean, win??