Veteran welterweight Jingliang Li is looking forward to getting back in the win column at UFC Long Island.
The Chinese MMA standout is booked opposite former training partner Muslim Salikhov, who rides a five-fight win streak into the July 16 event – having most recently outclassed Francisco Trinaldo in 2021.
Conversely, ‘The Leech’ comes off the back of a loss late last year to the freight train that is Khamzat Chimaev. He told The AllStar in a recent interview that he felt rushed and struggled to find his pace in that October outing; but that the loss wasn’t in vain.
“You can never predict it – and you can learn from all [of these] experiences”
It doesn’t seem that Li regrets gambling on himself, and given the chance, he’d likely make the same choice again. As a self-proclaimed ‘warrior’, it’s impossible for him to turn down a fight. “I don’t have [what it takes] to say no,” the 34-year-old stated.
It’s fitting, then, that Li finds himself pitted against another boogeyman of the 170-pound division in Salikhov.
The pair are well acquainted having both made their start on the regional MMA scene in China. Li claims to have first heard Salikhov’s name around 2008, and from then on was keenly aware of the Russian’s prowess.
He noted that Salikhov “fought and he [beat] so many big names,” on the Chinese circuit, however, they’d never crossed each other’s path inside the cage.
It wasn’t until later in life that their worlds would collide when both athletes were training in Las Vegas.
Li didn’t specify the extent to which he and Salikhov worked together – but having had experience on the mats with his forthcoming opponent, he’s confident in his ability to secure the win. “I felt great training with him,” the Chinese fighter remarked with a smirk.
He takes further confidence into the bout with the knowledge that he’s honing his skills with some of the best welterweights on the planet, now that he’s a part of the team at Sanford MMA. While Li’s pre-fight regime hasn’t altered too much from the past, he claimed having so many talented bodies in the room has been a massive boost.
“This time there are a lot of training partners with different styles. So for me, I train with so many different style fighters – that’s the difference.”
Probed on what he expects from his dance partner when the cage door closes, Li noted that he has a Sambo-based style and “his grappling’s not bad.” He anticipates that, while Salikhov can compete as a striker, the fight will likely take place on the ground – and he’s aiming to get the better of the exchanges.
“There is a chance [of a submission]. I think this time we can find out on the ground.”
“The Leech” Jingliang Li is a 34-year-old male fighter from China with 18 pro wins and 7 losses. Li is scheduled to fight Muslim Salikhov at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Rodriguez on Saturday, July 16, 2022.
Jingliang Li’s recent form coming into this matchup
Jingliang Li has gone 3-2 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Loss vs Khamzat Chimaev • Submission R1 3:16 • 2021-10-30
- Win vs Santiago Ponzinibbio • KO/TKO R1 4:25 • 2021-01-16
- Loss vs Neil Magny • Decision R3 5:00 • 2020-03-07
- Win vs Elizeu Zaleski • KO/TKO R3 4:51 • 2019-08-31
- Win vs David Zawada • KO/TKO R3 4:07 • 2018-11-24
Jingliang Li’s next opponent: Muslim “King of Kung Fu” Salikhov
Muslim “King of Kung Fu” Salikhov’s recent form coming into this matchup
Muslim “King of Kung Fu” Salikhov is a 38-year-old male fighter from Russia with 18 pro wins and 2 losses. Salikhov is scheduled to fight Jingliang Li at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Rodriguez on Saturday, July 16, 2022.
Muslim Salikhov has gone 5-0 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Francisco Trinaldo • Decision R3 5:00 • 2021-06-05
- Win vs Elizeu Zaleski • Decision R3 5:00 • 2020-07-11
- Win vs Laureano Staropoli • Decision R3 5:00 • 2019-10-26
- Win vs Nordine Taleb • KO/TKO R1 4:26 • 2019-09-07
- Win vs Ricky Rainey • KO/TKO R2 4:12 • 2018-04-14
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