Li Jingliang was forced out of his UFC 287 fight due to a spine injury and now his intended opponent Michael Chiesa has revealed that the promotion have been unable to find him a suitable replacement opponent so he’s he’s off the card too.
“I’m not going to name names of the guys who were offered who turned it down, because it was a matter of visa issues and some guys not being able to make weight,” Chiesa said on The MMA Hour show. “I’m not that type of guy to go out there and blast, like, ‘So-and-so turned it down.’ Look, I’m a tough out for anybody at 170 pounds, especially if you only have a couple of weeks to prepare.
“Niko Price was lobbying hard to get the fight, so I want to give him his flowers. That guy was ready and willing to jump in, but I think the UFC had other plans for him.”
Meanwhile, Jingliang has given more details about the injury to his spine that he suffered in training that forced him to withdraw from the fight.
“As many of you already know, I injured my spine during fight camp and was forced to withdraw from my fight against Michael Chiesa at UFC 287,” Li wrote on Instagram. “The injury was an accumulated effect from all the rigorous training that I had put my body through in the past several months especially all the extra BJJ and wrestling work I put in to prepare for beating a submission artist. I was feeling extremely confident and was never so ready for a fight when the injury happened.
“I’d been waiting for too long for my moment since last year so I tried to power through it until I reached a point where the pain was worsening and expanding across my entire upper body; no amount of physical therapy or ibuprofen was able to fix the problem; and my fight preparation was completely stalled because of it. When the doctors explained to me how dangerous it would be for me to keep pushing my limits, I decided to wise up and take their advice to let my body heal.”