Worrying news coming out of China where Jingliang Li has pulled out of UFC 287 and may need surgery on his spine! The news broke on various local language outlets in the early hours of the morning.

Li had been scheduled to face Michael Chiesa in Miami on April 9th. A replacement was sought and according to Kevin Lee he accepted the fight only for his opponent to turn down what would have been a rematch.


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Devastating setback

While this must be a devastating setback for Jingliang fight fans still have plenty to look forwards to at UFC 287. Jorge Masvidal will be fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2010.

Masvidal is Miami born and bred. He will be looking to turn his career around at UFC 287 after some indifferent recent results.

Masvidal (35-16) has lost his last three fights. Things won’t get any easier on April 8th as he has been matched with #5 ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns.

The welterweight started out street fighting in Miami before enjoying success in sanctioned MMA. He is also a promoter and has a fight card coming up this weekend:

Asian interest

UFC 287 will be a big card for Asian MMA fans. Numerous fighters from the region are in action at the event which is headlined by a middleweight title rematch between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya.

Thai/American strawweight Michelle Waterson will be looking to snap her two fight losing skid. The 37 year old has been matched with Luana Pinheiro (10-1) who is riding an eight fight winning streak.

Waterson (16-10) turned 37 last month and has not won a fight since 2020. She made her debut in 2007 and has been a professional mixed martial artist for 16 years.

Chinese contingent

Jingliang Li might be ou but representing China will be Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (39-10). The Chinese veteran is one of the most experienced fighters on the UFC roster and is coming off three straight wins.

He has been matched with Steve Garcia (13-5) who doesn’t have a good record against Chinese opponents. He was knocked out by Maheshate at UFC 275 last year.

Main event

The rivalry between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya has crossed over from kickboxing to MMA. The two men fought twice in China, sharing a win apiece.

They met for the third time inside the octagon at UFC 281. Pereira won by knockout, just as he had done in their most recent kickboxing match, to capture the middleweight title.

Adesanya (23-2) will be looking to recapture the belt and avenge his first ever defeat at 185lbs. Pereira (10-1) will be looking to make it ten straight wins.

UFC 287, Miami, April 8th
Alex Pereira (c) vs. Israel Adesanya (Middleweight)
Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal (Welterweight)
Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (Welterweight)
Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez (Bantamweight)
Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez (Bantamweight)
Gerald Meerschaert vs. Joe Pyfer (Middleweight)
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke vs. Steve Garcia (Lightweight)
Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Nikolas Motta (Lightweight)
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Chris Curtis (Middleweight)
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lupita Godinez (Strawweight)
Michelle Waterson vs. Luana Pinheiro (Strawweight)