Khamzat Chimaev made a triumphant return to the Octagon at UFC 267 today as he took Li Jingliang down almost instantly and then controlled him for several minutes before choking him unconscious.
Excellent ultra-low level change from Chimaev to work for a takedown, but Jingliang does a good job of stuffing it initially. However Chimaev continues to work for it, hoists him into the air and walks a few steps, says something to Dana White cage-side and then brings his opponent down.
Jingliang on his knees against the cage as Chimaev lands a few strikes, while keeping weight on him with a hook in.
Jingliang attempts to scramble away, but Chimaev remains attached. He lands a few more punches. Now Chimaev is working more solidly onto his back and begins flattening him out.
Chimaev blasts Jingliang with big punches. Jingliang in serious trouble early in the fight, but he’s hanging in there as best he can.
Now Chimaev switches for a rear-naked choke attempt and it looks very deep, but there’s no quit in Jingliang and he tries to fight it off.
Initially Jingliang is able to, but then Chimaev readjusts and this is in so tight it seems like his opponent has no chance of escaping.
Jingliang looks like he might tap but then goes limp before he’s able to, with the ref checking on him and then waving off the fight. Big rear-naked choke win for Chimaev at 3.16mins of the first round.
Incredible stuff from Chimaev, serving up a reminder of why he was so highly regarded last year, and it feels like the sky is the limit for him going forward.