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Volkan Oezdemir on UFC Fight Night 138 loss to Anthony Smith: 'I wasn't true to myself'

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MONCTON, Canada – Volkan Oezdemir plans to take some time off to heal following his loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night 138.

Oezdemir (15-3, 3-2 UFC) suffered a third-round submission defeat to Smith (31-13 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner and has now dropped consecutive bouts after going on a winning streak that earned him a title shot to start his UFC tenure.

After a strong opening to the fight, Oezdemir was grounded by Smith and caught in a fight-ending rear-naked choke. Oezdemir gave his opponent credit for capitalizing but revealed post-fight that he dealt with multiple nose injuries during training camp that impacted his performance.

“I broke my nose twice during the fight camp, and I guess I wasn’t ready for a fight, for a real blow,” Oezdemir told reporters, including MMAjunkie, post-fight. “I felt confident. I felt good. I felt I won the first two rounds. The third round was going really well, but as soon as he took me down and started for the choke, I also felt some blood coming out in my throat, and he made me give up the fight, make me choke.”

UFC Fight Night 138 took place at Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Smith vs. Oezdemir headlined the FS1-televised main card following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Oezdemir said he intends on taking time off to repair lingering injuries, including to his knee, and surgery could be required. He said he doesn’t know what type of timeline he’s looking at for a return but wants to be able to perform at his best when he does.

Although Oezdemir said he prepared for Smith to rally in the bout, he felt he could have done more early on and didn’t follow his true instincts inside the octagon.

“His nickname is ‘Lionheart,’ so I knew he would be surviving and feeling more powerful as long as the fight goes,” Oezdemir said. “That’s a little bit how he fights. That’s something I was getting ready for, and that’s why I wanted to pace myself in the fight. I wasn’t true to myself, because as soon as I felt the connection, I didn’t want to go for the finish.”

Oezdemir said his plan was to call out someone in the top three had he defeated Smith at UFC Fight Night 138. His situation is different now, though, so there are some considerations to be had before looking at his next opponent.

“Now that we are coming off a loss, I’m going to have to figure out my next plan,” Oezdemir said.

To hear more from Oezdemir, check out the video above.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 138, check out the UFC Events section of the site.



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