Jingliang Li has a big fight booked. He is competing in the co-main event of UFC 277 against former interim welterweight champion Tony Ferguson at the T-Mobile Arena.

It is an opportunity for the Chinese fighter to show the world exactly what he is capable of and Jingliang says he has a secret weapon,

“The support you get from the whole nation, no-one can take that gift for granted. That gift is called China Power. I can feel that power from the bottom of my heart,” he told UFC.com.

He will be a heavy favourite against Ferguson who has lost his last four fights. But the American is better known among fight fans because he has been on the UFC roster since 2011 and faced some of the biggest names in the lightweight division.


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Lucrative career

During his peak Ferguson collected five $50,000 USD bonuses in a row for putting on entertaining fights. This sort of thing is guaranteed to endear a fighter to fans as well as boosting his bank account.

He earned $400,000 USD for the loss to Justin Gaethje in 2020, Jingliang’s purse for a losing effort was $64,000 USD that year. So the American is likely to be earning considerably more than the Chinese fighter this weekend.

But Jingliang would like to emulate Ferguson’s longevity as well as his income and points out that he has already come a long way in huis career,

“I started as a nobody and now I’m a top ranked contender in this division.”


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Outwork anyone

While it was only an interim belt Ferguson has already had a taste of UFC gold. Jingliang believes it is only a matter of time until a Chinese man is able to replicate this success,

“I have no doubt that there will be more Chinese fighters getting into the UFC in future and even becoming champions.”

Jingliang has been preparing for this fight at Kill Cliff FC in Florida, which was formerly known as Sanford MMA. He says he has the stamina to ‘outwork anyone’ at 170lbs,

“We Chinese can scrap. I believe I can outwork anybody in this division in order to be the champ and bring the belt back to China.”


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Every department

Ferguson has a background in wrestling and was successful during his high school and college days. He made his name by knocking people out on TUF 13 but Jingliang is confident he is superior to the American in every department,

“He can strike, I strike harder. He can wrestle, I can too you just haven’t seen it yet.”

Jingliang is coming off a win over Muslim Salikhov that earned him a $5o,000 USD bonus. He finished the King of Kung Fu in the second round at UFC on ABC 3.

Having won five out of his last seven fights to secure the #14 spot in the rankings things aren’t exactly going badly for ‘The Leech’. But he says he will be a completely new fighter by the time he steps into the octagon in Las Vegas this weekend,

“Every move I make is a threat. I guarantee that when the fight starts you will see a brand new Leech.”