Chinese welterweight fighter Li Jingliang represented his nation with an impressive victory at UFC Shenzhen on Saturday.
Jingliang met streaking Brazilian contender Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in the card’s co-main event, and derailed dos Santos’ momentum via TKO with just 9 seconds left in the final round.
Speaking post-fight, Jingliang described what the victory means for his professional career and his Chinese heritage.
“I felt so good winning this fight since this is in Shenzhen – this is China,” he said (via MMA Junkie). “It’s UFC’s third time here. Few people knew about the sport of MMA when I started practising it. People didn’t know that there were Chinese fighters in MMA. But from now on, the world sees us. We are powerful!”
“Listen to the cheering (for Weili Zhang’s strawweight title win) – we just got our championship. It is historical. We are going to show the world China power, letting the world know that Chinese fighters are good at the sport.”
China is becoming a growing presence in the MMA world. ONE Championship has hosted several events in the country, while other local promotions like Kunlun Fight, The Art of War Fighting Championship, and RUFF have been blazing a trail for promoters in the country for years. The UFC also recently opened a state of the art training facility in Shanghai.
“There is a lot of potential in this country and now we can see this grow,” Jingliang told South China Morning Post of this massive facility.
Li Jingliang is ready to fly the flag of his home country and take on a top-10-ranked opponent in his next fight. Who would you like to see the Chinese welterweight go up against? Let us know in the comments below!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/1/2019.