Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Li Jingliang 100% Sure He’ll Derail The Chimaev Hype Train At UFC 267

UFC welterweight Li Jingliang is confident of becoming the first blemish on the record of the returning Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 267.

Jingliang was last in action at UFC Fight Island 7. The event, which took place in January earlier this year, saw the Chinese contender spoil the return of Santiago Ponzinibbio. The Argentine, who’d previously only lost three times in 30 fights, was brutally knocked out by “The Leech” inside the opening round.

The victory marked an impressive rebound performance for Jingliang. The 33-year-old had lost to Neil Magny last March. His defeat against “The Haitian Sensation” is one of only two losses in his last 10 UFC appearances.

Having secured a Performance of the Night bonus in his last fight, as well as the #11 spot in the welterweight rankings, Jingliang will be looking to jump into the top 10 in his next outing.

Santiago Ponzinibbio Li Jingliang

Despite being up against one of 2020’s most hyped fighters, Jingliang is confident he can add another win to his record when he meets Chimaev this Saturday.

Speaking with SCMP MMA, “The Leech” discussed his upcoming matchup with “The Chechen Wolf.” Despite the 27-year-old’s dominance across his three UFC fights so far, Jingliang believes he will stop Chimaev on October 30.

“Khamzat is the new star of the UFC and we’ve all watched his past three fights. Everyone loves him. But I know exactly what I have to do and I will stop him.

“Khamzat is very impressive and everyone loves him,” Li continued. “But I have 100 percent confidence in myself. After I defeat him I can sit down with Dana White, and have a cup of Chinese tea and then we can talk about the future.” (h/t South China Morning Post)

And perhaps his post-fight conversation with the UFC president will cover the promotion’s potential return to his home country of China. With a victory over Chimaev, Jingliang will no doubt set up a big fight for himself in the months after, something which he hopes will go down in front of his own fans.

“Of course this is the dream; to bring the UFC back to China. Everyone wants that, not just the UFC. The Chinese fans have been waiting a long time now for a Chinese card and I want to be there fighting for them, for all my fans.”

Chimaev announced his arrival on MMA’s biggest stage on Fight Island last year. He destroyed John Phillips and Rhys McKee in the space of 10 days. A brutal knockout of Gerald Meerschaert two months later showed that he has power on the feet as well as dominant control on the ground.

Having missed the last 12 months due to a rough battle with COVID-19, which nearly saw him retire from the sport, the Chechen-born Swede will look to pick up from where he left off when he faces Jingliang at UFC 267.

Who do you think will have their hand raised in Abu Dhabi? Li Jingliang or Khamzat Chimaev?