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“I Squeezed My Spine… Can’t” – UFC Star Li Jingliang Shares Heartbreaking News as He Cancels Next Fight With Michael Chiesa at UFC 287

Published 03/27/2023, 9:50 AM EDT

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Welterweight fighter Li Jingliang was set to fight a returning Michael Chiesa at UFC 287. However, the Chinese fighter had to opt out of the fight due to an injury. Jingliang recently provided an update regarding his injury to the fans.

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Fans were hoping to see Michael Chiesa return to the octagon after 16 months away from the UFC. Both he and Jingliang require wins to get their UFC careers in order due to their lackluster performances in earlier bouts. Jingliang needs to replicate his performance against Muslim Salikhov, who is also a compatriot of Khamzat Chimaev, to stand out as a welterweight contender. However, the fight will unfortunately not happen, as Li Jingliang found out he was having a problem with his spine.

Li Jingliang is out of action due to an injury


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‘The Leech’ is one of the biggest stars in China. His fans even wanted to see him fight in the upcoming UFC pay-per-view. But Li Jingliang informed his fans that he will be withdrawing from the fight due to a little nerve compression. He said, “I got injured. I went to get the MRI today… had a little nerve compression. I squeezed my spine… can’t compete April 8.” (Translated by Calfkicker)

Li Jingliang mentioned that the doctors may suggest that he get the surgery done. But it seems like he isn’t too keen on that treatment and would rather seek another way to treat his injury. He said, “Doctors abroad may have recommended surgery. The doctor inside is a radiologist.” Jingliang also mentioned how his current injury is related to an injury he suffered in 2018.


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‘The Leech’ explains how he got injured

Li Jingliang explained how he sustained his spine injury. He recalled getting injured in 2018 in the same place and subsequently got re-injured in the same spot. “When I was injured in 2018. I was injured once, reinjured.” Jingliang added that he is currently in touch with doctors who have links to Dana White’s promotion.


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Li Jingliang mentions his hardships while trying to get some sleep and mentioned taking prescribed medications for the same. He said, “I have been eating painkillers and sleeping for the past two days. I can’t sleep at night.”

He then addressed the negative feedback he’s been getting from the people regarding his injury. He said, “Many people have some negative comments about this injury. Or different understandings.” Jingliang then mentioned that he doesn’t care what people have to say about him. “We do things not for them. Don’t care what those people say. Because they can’t do this. They can only say it behind my back.” Jingliang mentions that he is thankful to those people who have supported him after the announcement of his injury.

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Li Jingliang is not worried about what others have to say about him withdrawing from the fight just days before the PPV as the health of a fighter is always a greater concern than the fight taking place. That being said, it is still not clear how much time Li Jingliang will be out to nurse his injuries. We will have to wait and see what transpires.

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Himanga Mahanta

1182 articles

Himanga is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. He interned as a WWE author at Sportsmanor before joining EssentiallySports to pursue his interest as a sports journalist. Himanga is a big fan of UFC's Conor McGregor and considers him the most entertaining combat sports athlete of the 21st century.

Edited By: Anuj Jacob