The hype around Chimaev is intense but with three stoppage wins in his first three UFC fight it is also justified. Jingliang feels he is being overlooked and points out that he has put away seven different fighters inside the octagon,
“He’s finished all his previous opponents but I have many finishes too so I just think its going to be a dog fight, a spectacular fight,” he told UFC.com.
While Chimaev is undefeated he doesn’t have any big names on his resume and is yet to face a ranked opponent. Li has been on the UFC roster since 2014 and is currently #7 at welterweight.
He feels he is superior to any of the nine previous opponents Chimaev has beaten,
“I’m a different fighter than his previous opponents. What is the difference? You’ll see in this fight.”
He has been training at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai alongside his China Top Team team mates. Jingliang hinted at a change of approach coming into this contest,
“I think this fight will be a new beginning for me. A new opponent, a new strategy, a new journey,” he said.
Jingliang hints he might have a surprise in store for his opponent at the Etihad Arena this weekend,
“In this fight I think you are going to see a new version of me.”
Chimaev has not fought for a year after suffering from a bout of Covid-10 which was so serious he considered retiring. But Jingliang still comes into this contest as a massive underdog with the odds massively tilted in his opponent’s favour.
The bookmakers clearly expect him to lose but the Chinese welterweight is adamant he can derail the Chimaev hype train.
“I believe in myself. I know I can win this fight.”