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“Surgery Is the Last Resort”: UFC 287 Loses Big Name to Spinal Injury

Published 04/03/2023, 5:11 AM EDT

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UFC 287 is just around the corner, and fans worldwide are gearing up for an event that promises to pack a punch. With a stellar lineup of fights featuring some of the biggest names in the promotion, the excitement for the event is at an all-time high. Headlining the card is the highly anticipated rematch between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, while the co-main event sees the return of Jorge Masvidal, who is set to take on Gilbert Burns. The icing on the cake is that the UFC is returning to Miami after a hiatus of two decades.

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However, just as everything seemed perfect, unfortunate news has come to light. Li Jingliang, who was slated to fight Michael Chiesa in the prelims, has withdrawn from the fight citing medical reasons.


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This development has undoubtedly put a damper on the excitement surrounding the event, this news will serve as a major shock for the enthusiastic fans.

Spinal injury forces Li Jingliang to withdraw from the UFC 287

‘The Leech’ Li Jingliang, last stepped into the UFC octagon against Daniel Rodriguez at UFC 279 in July last year, where he fell short. However, his return to the octagon has been halted due to a spinal injury that required surgical intervention to mend. Despite his best efforts, the Chinese fighter has had to withdraw from his upcoming fight against Michael Chiesa, which was set to take place at UFC 287.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Jingliang announced his unfortunate withdrawal from the bout, citing medical reasons as the cause.


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The 35-year-old shared the x-ray of his spine and wrote, “I officially withdrew from #ufc287 due to a spinal injury which occurred during fight camp. I trained extra hard for this fight and was more than ready, but life always throws curve balls. It will take time to heal and surgery is the last resort. But I’ll be back.”

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This development has left Michael Chiesa without an opponent, and with no official announcement from the UFC regarding a replacement, it remains to be seen how the promotion will fill this void. UFC 287 will take place on April 8 at Miami-Dade Arena. Don’t forget to tune in.


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Who do you think should fill in the shoes of Li Jingliang? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Watch this story: 5 Worst Injuries In The UFC



Mayur Soni

906 articles

Mayur Soni is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. His interest in the UFC heightened when he first saw his favorite fighter Conor McGregor knockout Jose Aldo in mere 13 seconds, in 2015. He thus got hooked on the sport.

Edited By: Rohini Kottu