Li Jingliang Reflects On Khamzat Chimaev Defeat, Believes Chimaev Needs To Prove Championship Level

Jingliang suffered a one-sided first-round submission defeat to Chimaev last year.

Li Jingliang

Ahead of his next fight, Li Jingliang took time to reflect on his last outing.

Jingliang suffered a one-sided first-round submission defeat to Khamzat Chimaev late last year.

Ready to bounce back, the Chinese star will look to return to the win column when he takes on Muslim Salikhov at UFC Long Island this weekend.

And just like his other losses in the UFC, Jingliang learned a lot from his setback against Chimaev.

“I think I gained a lot from that loss,” Jingliang said on media day (via MMA Junkie). “I think I learned a lot. The experience of fighting from the Khamzat fight, I think I can learn more from my loss than the wins. So I lost five times in my UFC career. I think I learned more from those losses than from my victories in the UFC.”

“After the Khamzat fight, I spent more time with my family because I’m a dad of two lovely kids. So I spent more time with family and after the Chinese New Year, I came to the U.S. in April with my team and just focused on the training camp. I hope I can have two more fights this year to give more to my fans.”

Li Jingliang: Chimaev Is High-Level But Needs To Show Championship Level

Chimaev, meanwhile, would compete again in a back-and-forth war with Gilbert Burns back in April. 

Although he came out on top with the unanimous decision victory, Chimaev was tested to his limits by Burns and looked human for a change.

Regardless, it was still an impressive showing but talk of a welterweight title shot is still a bit early according to Jingliang.

While Jingliang acknowledges Chimaev is high level, he believes “Borz” needs one or two more fights to truly prove he is ready to compete at the championship level.

“I acknowledge that he’s a very, very high-level fighter,” Jingliang added. “But if he’s as good as a champion, I think he still needs maybe one or two more fights to prove his championship level.”

“He’s a very smart fighter actually, and he has a very good game plan, so that is what we need to learn from him.”

Chimaev is currently without an opponent and with current champion Kamaru Usman defending his title against Leon Edwards at UFC 278, one opponent that could make sense is Colby Covington.

That would certainly be a true test of Chimaev’s championship level.

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