Li Jingliang’s stock is arguably higher than ever despite losing a split decision to Daniel Rodriguez at UFC 279. The Chinese fighter was originally scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson but instead accepted a last-minute catchweight bout against ‘D-Rod’ at 180lbs.

‘The Leech’ appeared to be getting the better of the striking exchanges for the majority of the contest and Dana White believes the judges got it wrong,

“I thought Li won the fight,” explained the UFC President.

Wrong decision

He was then asked if he though that Jingliang had gotten ‘the short end of the stick’,

“He did. They’re right. You’re right. The judges were wrong in my opinion. It wasn’t even like I was like ‘wow, that could have gone either way’. I was shocked when they said split decision.”

Jingliang is currently ranked at #14 in the welterweight division and is the second-highest ranked of the male Chinese fighters in the UFC after compatriot Song Yadong who sits at #10 in the bantamweight rankings.


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A post shared by Li Jingliang (@lijingliangmma)

Fan favourite

The Kill Cliff FC fighter is a veteran of 27 pro fights and first appeared inside the octagon at UFC 273 in 2014. The 34-year-old endeared himself to fans throughout fight week with a series of acts that made waves online.

He was seen helping Ferguson avoid tripping over a camera wire ahead of an interview, an occurrence that famously saw ‘El Cucuy’ forced to pull out from one of his ill-fated scheduled bouts with Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.

The then showed his emotional side as he broke down in tears as he addressed the media because he missed his family. Then there was the suit.


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A post shared by Li Jingliang (@lijingliangmma)

All dressed up

Poor old Jingliang was filmed having a very stylish number which had been tailor made for the pre-fight press conference. The presser was cancelled due to a backstage scuffle between several of the main card fighters and their teams.

So while Jingliang might have lost the fight he has probably won himself a few fans by behaving impeccably during fight week and accepting a last minute matchup against an opponent nearly 10lbs heavier. Unfortunately for the Chinese fighter the experience ended on a sour note with two judges somehow scoring the bout for his opponent.