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-Cell Enviornment 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 thought 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 shedding skid – appeared worrisome.
Jingliang known as anybody who takes that stance a “motherf*cker” and stood behind Ferguson’s choice.
“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 advised MMA Junkie by means of an interpreter on Monday. “He’s Tony Ferguson. You forgot all these folks whose face received minimize by Tony Ferguson. Superb fighters had been choked by him. It’s best to give credit score to him. I imagine in the event you struggle towards him, you’d know the way exhausting to cope with a man like ‘El Cucuy’ is. You shouldn’t neglect these fighters like Tony, who’s a pioneer within the sport. It’s best to give him respect.”
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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 mentioned. “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 most important looming query round Ferguson is how he’ll cope with the knockout towards Chandler and whether or not his trademark sturdiness will maintain up after such a fast turnaround.
Jingliang mentioned he’s anticipating the most effective out of the previous interim light-weight champ and can be prepared for 3 rounds of struggle come struggle night time.
“I don’t suppose it’s the improper choice for Tony Ferguson,” Jingliang mentioned. “There are lots of legends. What are we’re in search of on this recreation? This sport is a shock. It’s going to be an ideal, nice thrilling struggle.
“I’m unorthodox, as properly. I do know Tony Ferguson; his model is bizarre. It is unnecessary 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.