Li Jingliang hits back at notion that Tony Ferguson is passed his best days ahead of UFC 279: “You should give him respect”

By Josh Evanoff - August 29, 2022

UFC welterweight contender Li Jingliang believes his fight with Tony Ferguson won’t be easy.

Tony Ferguson Li Jingliang

The two are set to square off at UFC 279 next month from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Coming into the contest, ‘The Leech’ has won two of his last three fights by knockouts. His sole defeat came at the hands of Khamzat Chimaev last October.

On the other end of things, ‘El Cucuy’ has seen better days. Ferguson heads into his contest having lost four straight fights. His most recent defeat came in May, losing by second-round knockout to Michael Chandler.

The booking of the matchup caught fans off-guard. The former UFC interim lightweight champion hasn’t competed at welterweight in over a decade. That, combined with Ferguson’s recent spree of losses, has some fans worried ahead of UFC 279.

However, Li Jingliang doesn’t buy into any of that talk. In an interview with MMAJunkie, the welterweight contender previewed his matchup with Tony Ferguson. Simply put, the Chinese fighter believes that fans and pundits are overlooking the former titleholder.

The 34-year-old believes that fans have forgotten how good ‘El Cucuy’ is. Heading into UFC 279, Jingliang isn’t expecting the Ferguson of the last few fights to show up. Instead, he’s expecting the lightweight who dominated the weight class for years, to show up for a war.

Tony Ferguson

Image Credit: UFC

“For the people who say it like that, Tony Ferguson four losses in a row, never fought at welterweight, you forget who he is. He is Tony Ferguson. You forgot all those people whose face got cut by Tony Ferguson. Amazing fighters were choked by him. You should give credit to him. I believe if you fight against him, you would know how hard to deal with a guy like ‘El Cucuy’ is. You shouldn’t forget those fighters like Tony, who is a pioneer in the sport. You should give him respect.” (h/t MMAJunkie)

Li Jingliang continued, “…I don’t think [moving to welterweight is] the wrong decision for Tony Ferguson. There are a lot of legends. What are we are looking for in this game? This sport is a surprise. It’s going to be a great, great exciting fight.”

What do you think about Li Jingliang’s comments? Sound off in the comment section below!



Li Jingliang Tony Ferguson UFC UFC 279