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SHANGHAI – Li Jingliang was just living in the moment.
In the opening round of his UFC Fight Night 122 co-headliner with Zak Ottow on Saturday, Jingliang dropped his opponent with a straight right hand then followed up with a flurry of punches and hammerfists that sealed the deal.
Referee Herb Dean stepped in at the 2:57 mark to give Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) a TKO win in front of his home crowd at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. It was a huge moment for Jingliang, who immediately made a bee-line for the cage.
But this was unlike other instances in which fighters jump the cage following a win. This wasn’t a case of Jingliang looking to make a scene by calling out his next opponent sitting cageside. No, Jingliang jumped the cage out of love.
Jingliang’s feet hit the arena floor, and he sprinted down the aisle to enjoy the moment with his wife and daughter for the feel-good moment of UFC Fight Night 122.
“I hadn’t really thought about that in my mind, so it wasn’t planned,” Jingliang said through an interpreter. “But I was just too excited, and I wanted to share that joy with my wife. So that’s what happened.”
It was a fitting conclusion to Jingliang’s fight week. In addition to final preparations for the fight, Jingliang used the opportunity to meet with aspiring Chinese MMA fighters. Now with four straight UFC wins, Jingliang has an opportunity to grow his profile even more. And as that continues to happen, he intends on doing more good.
“I wanted to influence people who would need help, just like people who influenced me back in the days and helped me along the way,” Jingliang said. “When I have the kind of influence that could help people, I will certainly follow that path.”
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