Li Jingliang has been forced to pull out of UFC 287 after an injury scare, but he is determined to avoid a prolonged absence from the octagon. In a social media post over the weekend, the welterweight contender revealed that he had suffered a spine injury during his training camp for the event. However, he insisted that it was the result of an “accumulated effect” rather than a specific incident.
Jingliangsaid he had been feeling confident ahead of his fight with Michael Chiesa, and had been pushing himself to prepare to face a submission artist by focusing on extra wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu work. He attempted to power through his injury until it grew too severe and became far too painful to ignore.
Despite seeking physical therapy and painkillers, he ultimately had to withdraw from the bout after consulting with doctors. The 35-year-old fighter said that he hoped to avoid surgery and let his body heal naturally, but there is no date for his return to competition. Li added that “life will always throw you curveballs, just keep fouling them off. The right pitch will come, and when it does, I will be prepared to knock it out of the park.” Li lost his last fight at UFC 279 to Daniel Rodriguez via split decision.