With a new UFC contract in hand, Canadian Misha Cirkunov will return to the Octagon on May 28th when he faces Swiss native Volkan Oezdemir in the co-main event of Fight Night Stockholm, UFC officials confirmed to TSN on Monday.
This fight is pending approval from the Swedish commission (SMMAF).
It will be a pivotal night in the light heavyweight division as the show will be headlined by another important divisional clash, a bout between former title contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira.
"Volkan is young, fresh, new blood, very talented and beats veterans," Cirkunov told TSN's Aaron Bronsteter. "It's the co-main event and I'm very excited for a tough fight. I'm doing lots of work and I'm looking forward to it."
Cirkunov has been on a roll since making his UFC debut in August of 2015 in Saskatoon, where he picked up a KO victory over Daniel Jolly. The Toronto based fighter is 4-0 in the promotion, following up the Jolly win with victories over Alex Nicholson, Ion Cutelaba and most recently a submission of Nikita Krylov at UFC 206 in front of his hometown fans.
The unblemished UFC run is part of an overall eight-fight winning streak that dates back to Cirkunov’s last defeat in March of 2012. He holds a career 13-2 MMA record.
"My mindset is looking towards the goal," said Cirkunov. "I'm here to do my job and win the fight."
Prior to receiving a new contract from UFC, there were questions if Cirkunov would ever appear in a UFC Octagon again. Initial negotiations fell through, with president Dana White telling TSN that the fighter ‘flaked out’ on a deal and that he was done trying to bring him back to the organization.
Eventually the promoter and fighter got back together and struck a new deal.
“I’m just happy to be back in the world’s biggest promotion,” Cirkunov told TSN. “It was a rough couple of weeks, in terms of just re-signing and all of that, but what people don’t understand is that I am my own manager, as well. So yes, I got released, but then I got re-signed.”
His opponent Oezdemir comes into the fight riding the momentum of an upset victory over Ovince Saint Preux in his UFC debut at Fight Night Houston in February. The split decision triumph raised his overall record to 13-1, with nine of his victories coming by way of knockout.
The Fribourg, Switzerland native accepted his first UFC bout on 14 days notice, stepping in for an injured Jan Blachowicz.
The 27-year-old is on a three-fight winning streak since suffering his only MMA defeat in April of 2014.