The manager for Volkan Oezdemir said in a statement Monday that the UFC light heavyweight contender was not the aggressor in a bar fight in South Florida in August, an incident for which he’s facing a felony battery charge that carries a maximum 15-year jail sentence.
Oezdemir, 28, was arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police on Saturday and charged with aggravated battery. According to online records, the battery charge is classified as a second-degree felony, which calls for a $10,000 fine in addition to the jail sentence.
His bond was set at $10,000 during a hearing on Sunday. Later in the hearing, the victim in the alleged altercation was described as suffering from swelling and lacerations to the head.
Oezdemir (15-1) is expected to receive the next title shot against current champion Daniel Cormier. During Sunday’s bond hearing, the UFC fighter and his attorney stated he was preparing to fight in Boston. The UFC has a pay-per-view event, UFC 220, scheduled on Jan. 20 in Boston.
In a statement released to MMAJunkie.com, Oezdemir’s manager, Frederic Englund, said Oezdemir was “not the aggressor” in the alleged incident.
“Mr. Oezdemir was granted a $10,000 bond during the pendency of his case,” the statement read. “[Oezdemir’s attorney, Bruce A. Zimet], a former federal prosecutor, described the incident that formed the basis of the case as nothing more than a bar room altercation in which Mr. Oezdemir, who was not the aggressor, was totally justified in all of his actions pursuant to Florida law.
“Mr. Oezdemir expressed his faith in the America judicial system and looks forward to all of the facts involved in the August 12, 2017 incident being made public. Mr. Oezdemir has full confidence that when the full picture is presented that he will be totally vindicated.”
Oezdemir is originally from Switzerland, and now trains out of Coconut Creek, Florida, under striking coach Henri Hooft.
The UFC has stated it is “aware of the situation” and is in the process of gathering more information.