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Li Jingliang defends Tony Ferguson booking after brutal KO

Li Jingliang believes folks must put extra respect on Tony Ferguson’s identify forward of their UFC 279 co-main occasion.

Jingliang (19-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) vs. Ferguson (25-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) was a stunning announcement for the Sept. 10 pay-per-view card, which takes place at T-Cellular Area in Las Vegas and following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

With Ferguson lower than 4 months faraway from a devastating front-kick knockout loss to Michael Chandler, the concept of “El Cucuy” transferring as much as welterweight for the primary time since 2011 to face a heavy hitter – all whereas on a four-fight dropping skid – appeared worrisome.

Jingliang known as anybody who takes that stance a “motherf*cker” and stood behind Ferguson’s resolution.

“For the individuals who say it like that – Tony Ferguson 4 losses in a row, by no means fought at welterweight – you neglect who he’s,” Jingliang instructed MMA Junkie by means of an interpreter on Monday. “He’s Tony Ferguson. You forgot all these folks whose face obtained minimize by Tony Ferguson. Wonderful fighters had been choked by him. It is best to give credit score to him. I consider in the event you combat towards him, you’d know the way laborious to take care of a man like ‘El Cucuy’ is. You shouldn’t neglect these fighters like Tony, who’s a pioneer within the sport. It is best to give him respect.”

Regardless of his assist of Ferguson, China’s Jingliang admits he was caught off guard by the reserving, which was confirmed simply three weeks previous to UFC 279.

“I’m shocked,” Jingliang stated. “Sure and no, shocked however not, as a result of he’s Tony Ferguson, ‘El Cucuy.’ That’s why we name him folks’s champ. Tony Ferguson at all times offers us shock.”

The largest looming query round Ferguson is how he’ll take care of the knockout towards Chandler and whether or not his trademark sturdiness will maintain up after such a fast turnaround.

Jingliang stated he’s anticipating the perfect out of the previous interim light-weight champ and can be prepared for 3 rounds of warfare come combat evening.

“I don’t assume it’s the fallacious resolution for Tony Ferguson,” Jingliang stated. “There are quite a lot of legends. What are we’re on the lookout for on this recreation? This sport is a shock. It’s going to be an ideal, nice thrilling combat.

“I’m unorthodox, as properly. I do know Tony Ferguson; his model is bizarre. It is senseless to us, however something can occur within the octagon. He has his model; I’ve my model with my fists. That solves all the issues.”

To listen to extra from Jingliang, watch the whole UFC 279 interview above.

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 279.

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