Aoriqileng staying at 135lbs after UFC Vegas 52 win
Aoriqileng registered his first ever win inside the octagon yesterday at UFC Vegas 52 and the Chinese fighter did it in some style. He stopped Cameron Else in the opening round and looks like a force to be reckoned with at bantamweight after back to back losses at 125lbs.
Aoriqileng prepared for this contest at Fight Ready in Arizona which has proved a popular destination for Asian fighters like Weili Zhang and The Korean Zombie. Having lost by decision in both his previous UFC fights the 28 year old moved up to 135lbs to take on an English opponent in an identical situation.
Else had lost his first two UFC fights too and, unlike Aoriqileng, hadn’t managed to pick up a performance bonus in the process. He also prepared for this fight in Arizona, training at Jackson Wink MMA.
— UFC (@ufc) April 23, 2022
Both men traded leg kicks at the start of the contest. It was a fast start which you would expect from two fighters who knew they were potentially fighting for their UFC futures.
Else wanted to get the action down but ended up on his back. They returned to their feet but Aoriqileng continued to push the pace attacking with a flying knee and dropping the Englishman with a left hook to the body
From there the Chinese fighter was relentless with ground and pound leaving the referee no option but tp step in and call off the contest.
— UFC (@ufc) April 23, 2022
Speaking after the contest Aoriqileng confirmed he planned to continue competing at 135lbs,
“I feel fantastic, I’m so happy. I will stay in the bantamweight division.”
He credited Eddie Cha with helping him come up with the right strategy to beat Else,
“I have been in the US since October when my last fight was cancelled. Our team, we created a very specific gameplan and I executed it in this fight. We practised a lot of footwork for the fight and coach Eddie told me to keep moving and be faster than my opponent.”
Having moved up a division for this fight Aoriqileng admits that his opponent was stronger,
“I could feel he was physically stronger than me. It was similar to what I expected because I knew he was strong.”
He was unfortunate to miss out on a performance bonus and admitted he had been hoping to receive some extra cash,
“I think I deserve the bonus. That’s my style, I only go forwards and I’m aggressive.
Aoriqileng is not planning on taking much of a break and hopes to be back in action soon,
“I will go back to training next week and then we’ll see, Maybe July or August.”
He might have missed out on a performance bonus but the 28 year old was relieved to have ensured he will remain on the UFC roster a little longer,
This fight was important because I lost my last two. I saw it as my last chance in the UFC.