A durable and experienced octagon competitor, Jingliang is nine months removed from a breakout performance at UFC on ABC 1, where he knocked out welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibbio in the first round. That put him back on the right foot after a disappointing loss to Neil Magny that snapped a three-fight winning streak. But there might be no bigger potential boost for Jingliang in his 14-fight UFC run than a win over Chimaev, who returns to the cage after a long battle with COVID-19 that nearly ended his career.
All eyes remain on Chimaev as he fights for the first time in 13 months. In his most recent bout, the Russian added just 17 seconds to his octagon time with a knockout of Gerald Meerschaert. He remains under 10 minutes total in three octagon appearances, two of which came within 10 days of each other. The major question facing “Borz” is whether he’s still the same fighter he once was after experiencing the fight of his life outside the cage.
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