It sounds like fans hoping to see Jingliang Li back in action won’t have to wait too long. He clearly got the raw end of the deal at UFC 279 when he was asked to move up 10lbs to fight Daniel Rodriguez in a catchweight contest put together at the very last minute.

Jingliang had originally been scheduled to face Tony Ferguson in a welterweight fight. That would have been a much more winnable bout for the 34 year old.

But he appeared to have got the better of Rodriguez only to end up losing by split decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. That defeat nearly cost him his spot in the rankings, Jingliang is currently at #15.

The Chinese fighter will have an opportunity to get back to winning ways in early 2023 by the sounds of things. He just announced on Instagram that he has a fight booked:

All dressed up

Underneath a photo of Jingliang wearing one of this trademark suits the 34 year old writes,

Suited up and saddled up🗡️ First fight in 2023 is coming soon, stay tuned!

Jingliang also had a suit tailor made for the UFC 279 press conference and had been working hard on his English in preparation for questions from the American media. But the event was cancelled at the last minute after a backstage braw involving Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz.

It left Jingliang all dressed up with nowhere to go and there was a lot of sympathy for the Chinese fighter. Things went from bad to worse when the last minute reshuffle saw Ferguson matched with Diaz and Jingliang asked to move up in weight to fight Rodriguez.

Just when a it seemed a bad week couldn’t get any worse Jingliang put on an impressive performance against Rodriguez only to lose by split decision. Even Dana White disagreed with the judges but it will go down as a loss that takes his record to 19-8.

No luck

Jingliang got all dressed up again for UFC Vegas 61. He flew in from Florida to watch Xiaonan Yan fight but once again he didn’t get to show off his new suit because Mark Zuckerberg had booked out the entire venue.

The Chinese fighter is based permanently in the US and trains at Kill Cliff MMA. He has been on the roster since 2014 but has definitely become more of a fan favourite since working on his English and investing in his wardrobe.