Michael Chiesa-Jingliang Li Added to UFC 287 Lineup on April 8
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is not quite done building its stacked April pay-per-view.
Per Michael Chiesa (16-6) on ESPN’s “UFC Fight Night Pre-Show” on Friday, he will be competing on April 8. This will be his first in-cage outing since 2021, and he will be taking on Jingliang Li (19-8) with potential top-10 stakes in the welterweight division. The event, UFC 287, still does not currently have a location on the books, although locales of Brooklyn, New York, and Miami are reportedly the frontrunners.
This will be Chiesa’s first fight in over 16 months, and he will be attempting to dispel a two-fight losing streak when he sets foot in the Octagon again. “Maverick” first succumbed to a brabo choke from Vicente Luque in August 2021, and came back three-plus months later to drop a decision to then-undefeated Sean Brady. Before then, Chiesa had rattled off four straight victories in his return to welterweight. All four wins came over noteworthy foes at 170 pounds, as he dispatched Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Rafael dos Anjos and Neil Magny from 2018 to 2021.
Li has alternated wins and losses in his last six, with knockouts of Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Muslim Salikhov interspersed between defeats to Magny, Khamzat Chimaev and Daniel Rodriguez. The latter came at an unexpected 180-pound catchweight due to late-notice fight-card rejiggering, and Li weighed a full 10 pounds lighter than Rodriguez and still arguably won the decision.
UFC 287 will be held at a currently undisclosed venue on April 8, with a middleweight championship rematch on tap for the main event of the evening. The co-headliner slot comes at welterweight in an all-action contest between former title challengers Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal. To complete the main card lineup – barring a re-ordering with this new fight – Kevin Holland faces Santiago Ponzinibbio at 170 pounds, Raul Rosas Jr. will look to keep his young unbeaten record intact against Christian Rodriguez at bantamweight and Rob Font will throw down with Adrian Yanez also at 135 pounds.
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